Penguins captain Sidney Crosby
returned to practice for the first time since injurying his groin last Thursday in a pre-season contest at Columbus.
"I feel better," Crosby said. "I’m not where I want to be but it’s progressing and hopefully by Friday (home opener) it’s something I won’t have to worry about. There was no point where I thought I had to get off or felt like it was getting worse, so that’s good."
Crosby has skated for the past three days but did not participate in practice until Tuesday.
"He’s one of our best players. He brings a lot to our team," linemate Chris Kunitz
said. "You want your best players out there every night. It gives you your best chance to win. But if he’s injured and he can’t go at his level and is worried about getting hurt for a longer period of time and having to sit out months, then obviously you want to take time and rest. But if he’s out there it gives us a better chance to win. We hope he plays."
"I was on the ice with Sid (Sunday)," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "So I was out there skating with him and doing some drills and trying to keep it a controlled situation and keep conditioning up. Not a surprise to see him on the ice, but definitely good to see him on the ice."
Crosby has experience with returning from a groin injury. He missed five games last season due to a groin injury and knows the work it takes to bounce back.
"I’ve always taken that part of the game serious as far as off-ice things," Crosby said. "It’s something I always work on. So yeah it’s frustrating when you do everything that you can to prevent it and it still kind of creeps up. But at the same time, it probably stresses the importance of keeping on it and making sure I keep working on it. This is something that I’ve had a few instances over the past few years, that I’ve dealt with the groin. I just try my best to avoid it and prevent it."