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Crosby Returning for Morning Skates, But No Expectations for Return

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby will accompany the Penguins on their upcoming road trip to Tampa Bay and Florida and start taking part in the team’s morning skates, but the Penguins have no expectations as to when or if he’ll return to the lineup this season.

“While (Crosby) is cleared to return to practice, he’s not going to be practicing with us all the time,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. “Game day skates are a natural return for his progression.

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“His rehab is ongoing. He’s doing well with it. As a manager I have no expectations that he’ll come back to play in the regular season. I don’t believe that’s going to happen.

“The playoffs are still two to three weeks away. I don’t want to take away any hope from the players, but to return to game action in the Stanley Cup playoffs takes a certain level of fitness and game ready, and he is certainly not close to that at this point.”

While Crosby isn’t ready for full practice, participating in morning skates is the next step in his progression and recovery from a concussion suffered in early January. The future steps and decisions in Crosby’s progression are determined by doctors and the team has no expectations on when they will occur.

“The last thing we’ll do with Sidney Crosby or any player is push him if he’s not ready,” Shero said. “This is doctors’ orders on top of that.

“There is no strategic plan from myself or Dan Bylsma to reintroduce him to our lineup at any certain date or time. I want to take a step back and temper some of the enthusiasm for any certain date that he’s coming back to play.

“I don’t want the expectation out there that our captain is coming back soon. That is not my expectation.”
Crosby is scheduled to participate in the morning skates on Thursday in Tampa Bay and Saturday in Florida. He will then skate on his own on the off-day Friday.
“We’re happy to see him get on the ice with a few teammates now,” Bylsma said. “He’s going to progress for the morning skate and we have no anticipation for when the next step is and where that might be down the road, if at all this year.”

Crosby will address the media following Thursday’s morning skate in Tampa.

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