Crosby steadily improving, not yet game ready
|Penguins forward Sidney Crosby gets ready to face off against the Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., March 12, 2010. (AL BELLO/Getty Images/AFP)
PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will return to hockey at some point in the upcoming season, but when that will be is still uncertain.
Crosby recently visited specialists in Michigan and Georgia, and the consensus is that the 24-year-old will make a full recovery from a season-ending concussion, but a timetable has yet to be realized.
"I appreciate all the support I've received from my family, friends, teammates and fans and from the entire Penguins organization," Crosby said Wednesday. "I know they only want the best for my health, and for me to be fully ready when I return to game action."
Crosby missed the second half of last season since he was taken into the boards by Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman on January 5. He also had absorbed a legal but hard check to the head from former Washington forward David Steckel during the Winter Classic four days earlier.
The Nova Scotia native posted 32 goals and 34 assists in 41 games at the time of the injury.
He returned to skate briefly in mid-March, but was held out of action through the Pens' first-round seven-game loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Crosby then returned to training this summer -- which included both on- and off-ice actions -- but experienced headaches when exerting himself at a certain level.
"We've had him see leading specialists because we want to make sure he gets the best care possible," said Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson. "The Penguins always encourage their players to get second and third medical opinions and have been very supportive of this. And we've been talking to (general manager) Ray Shero every step of the way."
Pittsburgh begins training camp September 16 and opens its 2011-12 regular season on October 6 at Vancouver.