PITTSBURGH -- If it wasn't for the white helmet he wore that signified no contact, Sidney Crosby offered no sign that he is recovering from a concussion.
Crosby skated at full speed, pushing himself longer and faster than he has at any time during his injury layoff, while staying on the ice for nearly 70 minutes during the Pittsburgh Penguins' first training camp practice on Saturday. He drew loud cheers from a large crowd at Consol Energy Center when he snapped off a wrist shot that hit the net with authority and when he did anything that was reminiscent of a healthy Crosby.
Considering this was only the first day of camp, there was a lot of that. Or exactly how Crosby planned it.
Crosby, who hasn't played since Jan. 5, exerted himself at a 100 percent pace for the first time since he began working out in advance of this season -- and with no apparent ill effects. When Crosby recently pushed himself at a 90 percent pace, he had a relapse of the concussion-related symptoms that have prevented him from being cleared for full contact.
"That was a really good pace -- it was tough but fun to feel it again," Crosby said. "I worked as hard as I possibly could out there. For that period of time, that's the longest I've went at that pace. It felt good."
Unless the symptoms return -- and Crosby said they have largely vanished the last few weeks -- he plans to practice every day at this same pace until he is cleared for contact. The Penguins have no offered no hint when that might be.