SUNRISE, Fla. -- Sidney Crosby skated after Pittsburgh's morning skate Friday at the Bank Atlantic Center.
After a 27-minute on-ice session, Crosby met with the media and updated his progress as he attempts to return from a concussion that has sidelined him since a Dec. 5 game against the Boston Bruins. Friday was the first time Crosby has been on the ice since Dec. 7.
How did it feel to be on the ice?
Crosby: It felt pretty good. It’s nice get back out there. First time, so I take it in stride. But it’s nice to get back out there.
Are you now symptom-free?
Crosby: The symptoms are getting a lot better, but I wouldn’t say symptom-free. But allowed to lightly exert. That’s positive. When you’re sitting out for a bit, it’s nice that the symptoms have been better and it’s nice to get to step out there on the ice. We’ll see how it goes.
The headaches, balance ... all those improving?
Crosby: A little bit less. Those are kind of general things. That’ll be the real test. The motion stuff has kind of been the issue for the time before and now going through it a bit. The good thing is I have
a pretty good handle on it and I was able to improve that when I went to Atlanta that was a big help in August. I know I can handle that if I need to.
Are you thinking about getting those treatments again?
Crosby: If need be. Like I said, I have a handle, so it’s not like I’m guessing at this point. I know that’s something that can be fixed. I’m more worried about the symptoms."
Is it likely to go back to Georgia?
Crosby: Hopefully not. The motion stuff is still a little bit iffy. I want to make sure I give it a fair shot, but at the same time it's something I know I can improve.
When did you first speak to the doctor about taking this step today?
Crosby: A couple of days ago. It’s nice to get out there. Obviously, there’s some restraints, too, but that being said, it’s better than being on a bike or sitting around. I’d much rather be on the ice.
Has this injury been even more frustrating for you than last year’s?
Crosby: At different points when I was going through it, it was so new, so many questions and not a lot of answers, either. It’s a tough injury. It’s not clear-cut all the time, but now I know a lot more. I know a lot more about what I’m feeling and how to improve it. Being more familiar helps a bit. At the same time, it’s tough to come back and be out, but I think I’ve got a bit better handle on it.
What did you think of your teammates all wearing a “C” on their jersey?
Crosby: It was a nice gesture. At a time like this when things are tough and some adversity with the injuries and with a few losses, we need to stick together. That was a good sign right there of sticking together. Whenever you have adversity, there’s always times when it’s kind of in question — your team is in question, character is in question. I don’t think there’s ever been a point with our group.
It’s good to see everyone sticking together. We’ll see the results out there on the ice.
How important was it to you to be on this road trip?
Crosby: The fact I’m able to skate is good, but you always want to be around them. When you’re winning, obviously you want to be part of that. But when you’re losing, too, you want to be there and go through it. For me to be here, hopefully it’s good for both. It’s good for me to be around the guys and hopefully support them and they can see I’m getting closer and closer. It’s a good thing, too.”
Do you think the League is doing enough to help with concussions?
Crosby: I think they’re doing a pretty good job. They can only do so much. At the end of the day, it’s up to us as players. That being said, it’s a quick game. There are things that can happen, but at the same time they have done a lot of good things to prevent it from happening. Obviously there have been some instances, but if that effort, that caution toward those things is there consistently, I think we’re going to see things change.
What do you say about what’s been out there on social media regarding dissension on his team or even the suggestion of naming another captain?
Crosby: You know what, it’s tough to even answer it because it’s so far-fetched. I would say to that, I’m not surprised that it’s when we’ve lost six in a row. If we’d won five in a row, I don’t think any of that stuff would have started. Let’s be honest, the Steelers are out and the Penguins are what there is to talk about and anything that can be brought up or started, especially given the situation, is a pretty easy fit. I’ve been around hockey long enough to know that this stuff seems to go on when you’re losing. As long as guys don’t get caught up in it -- and I don’t think they have -- I think we’re much, much better off than if we listen to it.
Have you gotten any indication that anybody in the organization doesn’t support you in this situation?
Crosby: No. It’s too bad we even have to sit here and talk about it, to be honest with you. It’s really not even worth talking about.
Given what you went through last year, how much easier is it recognizing what you’re going through now?
Crosby: It’s easier having gone through it. As far as knowing what’s going on, it’s easier for sure. I don’t think it’s ever easy watching or going through this, but it’s nice to have somewhat of an idea. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, that’s just the way it is. With these things a lot of time, there aren’t a lot of answers.
To have some idea is obviously a positive.
There was a story a while back where you said you hit your head playing wall ball when you’re 11 and you thought you might have had a concussion. Was that a non-diagnosed concussion?
Crosby: I’m sure every kid has probably fallen and bumped their head at some point. Whether they got a concussion from that or not ... I mean, there’s a lot of guys in this League that seem to survive through, I’m sure, bumps when they were little. If you really want to go back, though, I did hit my head playing wall ball. ... I don’t know (if it was a diagnosed concussion), I’d have to go back and ask the doctor. I don’t remember exactly.”
Are you sensitive to the balance between keeping the media aware of your situation and not becoming a distraction to your teammates?
Crosby: Yeah, 100 percent. First and foremost, that’s the most important thing, not being a distraction. That’s No. 1 on the list. I understand my responsibility. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that if there’s information to give, it’s part of my role and the responsibility that comes with what I do to provide that and I’ve always been willing to do that. But I think if there’s no information to be given, I’m not going to give any. I’m not going to make something up. On top of that, I’m not going to cause distractions or
create distractions because of that. That’s always my thought. That’s the most important thing. Whether it’s trying to come back to help the team or doing what I have to do handling that stuff, that’s most
important. Yeah, that’s something I’m pretty conscious of.”