Crosby senses health improving

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skates during team practice in Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 5, 2011. (ANDY...

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skates during team practice in Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 5, 2011. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

VANCOUVER - The previous time Sidney Crosby skated on the ice at the Rogers Arena, he scored one of the most memorable goals in Canadian hockey history.

On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain was back in Vancouver, sporting a black-non-contact helmet and practising with his teammates.

While he didn't have any updates on his recovery from a concussion, Crosby said he's glad to be back at the same venue where he scored the "Golden Goal" for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"It looks a little different without the tables and media setup, but lot's of great memories," he said. "It's easy to have those kind of things go through your mind when you're back out there."

But Crosby will have to wait before he can play his next game on Vancouver ice. Sidelined by the effects of a concussion in January, he will not be in the lineup Thursday when the Penguins open the season against the Vancouver Canucks. Earlier this week, the centre was placed on injured reserve and no schedule has been set for his return.

Even so, the 24-year-old said it's nice to be on the trip with his teammates.

"The last few weeks have been great. No complaints," he said.

Crosby said he has ramped up his workload in recent weeks.

"I'm updating (doctors) every day and that's where it stands," he said, adding he has been symptom-free for less than a month. "Sometimes you feel like you're close but something happens and you're not. That's why it has been great to be going this long ... without any setbacks."

Crosby is giving NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan the thumbs up for policing head shots and suspending offenders.

"He has done a great job," Crosby said. "I don't think anybody out there is expecting that headshots are going to be totally gone. They're going to happen, but there are going to be (fewer of them) if we keep doing the same thing that we're doing."

hosea.cheung@sunmedia.ca


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