Sidney Crosby, who has missed the Pens' first six games of the season due to a concussion, participated in full-contact practice with his teammates Monday afternoon at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.
"I got the OK to go out there and be in a full practice," Crosby said. "It was just good to be back on the ice with the guys. It's not easy watching. To be out there was nice and hopefully a good step."
There is no timeframe for Crosby's return, though head coach Mike Sullivan hasn't ruled him out for the Pens' Tuesday contest against Florida.
"Sid is day-to-day, as he has been. We'll take tomorrow as it comes," Sullivan said. "It's obviously a big step when he joins the group.
"To have him join the group in a full-contact practice like that is encouraging from our standpoint."
Crosby, 29, skated on his own for two weeks and hasn't experienced any concussion-like symptoms.
"No, I feel good," Crosby said. "It's good to have some days like that and hopefully I can build from here."
Crosby took part in all the normal aspects of practice, including line rushes and power-play time. Crosby worked with forwards Scott Wilson and Patric Hornqvist, the trio with which the coaching staff anticipated starting the season.
"It's encouraging to be able to skate," Crosby said. "When you're out there you're able to stay in shape. Being able to go through a regular practice, when you have things like that that are encouraging, you're in the right direction. It's easier to stay motivated and upbeat about it."
Crosby also suffered a concussion and neck injuries during the 2010-11 and '11-12 season that sidelined him for 11 months. During that period Crosby experienced headaches while doing normal things like watching television or driving a car. Crosby said the experience this time around is not as severe as that occasion.
"It hasn't been like that," Crosby said. "I've been able to skate pretty consistently, which has been nice."
Crosby suffered the concussion on Oct. 7 during practice when got tangled up with a teammate. He arrived at PPG Paints Arena the following day and wasn't feeling well. The team held him out of that night's preseason contest against Columbus.
Crosby underwent medical testing on Oct. 10 and was diagnosed with the concussion. He began skating the following day on his own. Crosby joined his teammates for a non-contact portion of practice on Oct. 12 wearing a yellow jersey.
"I don't like the yellow (jersey)," Crosby said. "It's nice to be in the regular colors."