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Sidney Crosby's status unknown for Penguins, Game 5 against Capitals

Pittsburgh captain rejoined teammates for practice after sustaining concussion

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

CRANBERRY, Pa. -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby is uncertain to play in Game 5 after practicing Friday for the first time since sustaining a concussion during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals on Monday.

Crosby skated on his own Wednesday and Thursday.

"It was good to get out there," Crosby said. "Skated yesterday too and felt good. I feel good. Right now just kind of following what I'm told to do."

Crosby remains day to day, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said, heading into Game 5 at Washington on Saturday (7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports). Pittsburgh leads the best-of-7 series 3-1 and the defending Stanley Cup champions can advance to the Eastern Conference Final for a second straight year with their next win.

[RELATED: Complete Capitals-Penguins series coverage]

"It's the same as it was yesterday," Sullivan said of Crosby. "He's going through part of the process. He was in a full-contact practice today. We'll see how he responds and go from there."

Crosby said he could play in Game 5.

"I don't want to rule it out," Crosby said. "It's not really up to me. You just kind of relay how you feel and kind of direct it from there. … I've felt pretty good right on from [Tuesday] to now. So I'm probably as good as you can expect."

Crosby was injured at 5:24 of the first period of Game 3 when he was cross-checked in the head by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen. Crosby did not play in a 3-2, Game 4 win Wednesday.

At practice Friday, he resumed his role as first-line center between left wing Jake Guentzel and right wing Patric Hornqvist. Forward Conor Sheary, who also practiced in a regular jersey Friday after sustaining a concussion in Game 3, skated at left wing on a line with center Nick Bonino and right wing Bryan Rust.

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Sheary required stitches for a split upper lip caused when he collided with Hornqvist on Monday and was hopeful he could play Saturday.

"I don't want to put myself in the clear yet," Sheary said. "I hope I have another good day today but I've been surprised with yesterday and today that I've been pretty much symptom-free. … As long as today goes well I think I'll be a game-time [decision] tomorrow."

Following line rushes, Crosby participated in full-contact drills with no apparent limitations. In eight games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Crosby has 11 points (four goals, seven assists).

Crosby missed the first six games of the regular season because of a concussion sustained during a preseason practice. He returned and led the NHL with 44 goals. His 89 points were tied with Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane for second, 11 points behind Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (100).

Crosby also missed 101 games during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, as well as the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, because of a concussion and a neck injury. 

"It was good. It was fun [to see Crosby practice]," goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said Friday. "I think the most important thing is his health. To have him out there cracking a few smiles and having fun playing hockey, it was fun to see."

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