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No timetable for Sidney Crosby's return

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby says it's "likely" he'll return to play this season, but stressed he won't rush back to the ice.

Crosby hasn't played since suffering a pair of concussions in January. The former MVP said Wednesday he feels as good as he's felt in a long time but refused to put a timeline when he'll be able to play.

When asked if he plans to play at some point this season, Crosby smiled and said, "I wouldn't bet against it."

The 24-year-old added he never really considered retirement but is concerned about the recurrence of concussion-like symptoms as his workouts have grown more intense.

"It's not as simple as saying there's a date and I'll feel better," Crosby said. "I'd love to have answers sometimes. There were different points where I was definitely frustrated."

Dr. Michael Collins, who has overseen Crosby's recovery, says he expects Crosby to have a "long and fruitful" NHL career but cautioned bringing him back too soon would put those prospects at risk.

"I have no earthly idea (on a return)," Collins said.

Though Crosby has been been allowed to skate, it's uncertain when he could be cleared to participate in a full-contact practice.

"We're going to introduce contact with Sid very carefully," Collins said, "and we're not even close to that."

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