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Crosby given day off in Denver

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

DENVER - Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (core muscle) did not skate today after taking the ice on Tuesday and on Wednesday in Las Vegas, and head coach Mike Sullivan said he was given a scheduled day off.

"Sid's going through a rehab process, and with the nature of this injury, it's an evolving process," Sullivan said. "Part of that process is introducing him to the team environment. We see how he responds and the medical staff makes decisions accordingly."

Overall, Sullivan is encouraged by Crosby's progress, and is just happy to have him back around the team on this road trip that continues with games against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.

"He's had some really strong days," Sullivan said. "You can see him getting stronger with each day that he's out there. I think just his presence around the team, everyone looks up to him. He has a great presence. He's a great teammate. He's close friends with these guys. So for him to be around the team like this is terrific for all of us."

Forward Nick Bjugstad (core muscle) and defenseman Justin Schultz (lower-body) did take the ice after the Penguins' practice at Pepsi Center officially wrapped up, wearing gray no-contact jerseys. 

"I'm reluctant to put timeframes on these guys because there's so many things that influence those timeframes," Sullivan said yesterday. "We're encouraged by all the guys' progress. We feel like they're all getting closer. They're visibly stronger on the ice and that's encouraging for all of us."

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