Steckel happy for Sid the Kid

David Steckel shoots during Leafs practice at the Mastercard Centre October 5th, 2011. (DAVE...

David Steckel shoots during Leafs practice at the Mastercard Centre October 5th, 2011. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:58 PM ET

David Steckel is glad that Sidney Crosby has been cleared for full contact in practice.

Of course, it was the Maple Leafs centre, then with the Washington Capitals, who first got Crosby into concussion trouble with an unintentional blind-side hit during the Winter Classic last January.

“I’m happy he is back,” Steckel said. “I’m sure it has not been easy for him. Any time anybody has come back from an injury, I’m sure they want to come back as soon as possible. It’s good.”

Steckel was asked if he will be able to move on now that Crosby apparently is on the cusp of returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup. Crosby has not played since Jan. 5, when he absorbed a check into the glass by Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman in the game after he was hit by Steckel.

“There is nothing to put behind,” Steckel said. “It was accidental, and I feel bad he was hurt and out. It’s not like I’m going to move on with my life. It has been going on (anyway).”

Said Leafs coach Ron Wilson upon hearing the news: “Good. He is one of the best players, if not the best player, in the world, and that is a positive step. We don’t have to be talking about when Sidney is coming back (anymore), he is pretty close.”

The Leafs’ first game this season against the Penguins is on Oct. 29 at the Air Canada Centre, though the Penguins have not put a timetable on Crosby’s participation in game action.


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