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Penguins unsure when Malkin can practice: report

by Staff

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has not been cleared to practice and may not be by the weekend, coach Mike Johnston told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Tuesday.

Malkin, who had 72 points (23 goals, 49 assists) in 60 games last season, has yet to participate in Pittsburgh's training camp because of an undisclosed injury. The Penguins have four scheduled practices before they open the regular season Oct. 9 against the Anaheim Ducks at Consol Energy Center.

"As far as I know, he hasn't been cleared to work out," Johnston told the newspaper. "Once he's cleared to work out, it will be a progression to get on the ice.

"I expect his conditioning should be good, but his sharpness … it's tough. Those four practices are going to be good, quality practices because we go Saturday, Sunday, then we have a day off Monday. We get two more before the [opener]."

Johnston said center Sidney Crosby is expected to play in the final preseason game Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Crosby has been away to attend his grandmother's funeral.

"If his travel plans are set and good," Johnston said, "he's definitely going to be in the lineup."

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