Crosby cleared to take contact

Sunday might be Comeback Day II
March 7, 2012 12:00 am
  • Sidney Crosby last appeared in a game Dec. 5 against Boston. He suffered two jarring hits that night and hasn't been in uniform since.
    Sidney Crosby last appeared in a game Dec. 5 against Boston. He suffered two jarring hits that night and hasn't been in uniform since.
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Sidney Crosby is offering no guarantees, no promises of when he'll be back in the Penguins lineup.

He has endured enough the past 14 months or so to understand the perils of making such a prediction.

He knows that there simply is too much that could go too wrong.

Nonetheless, Crosby -- who hasn't played since Dec. 5 because of a soft-tissue injury in his neck and concussion-like symptoms -- has made it clear that, barring a setback, he could be back in uniform as early as Sunday, when Boston will visit Consol Energy Center at 12:38 p.m.


Scouting report
  • Matchup: Toronto Maple Leafs at Penguins, 7:38 p.m. today, Consol Energy Center.
  • TV, radio: NBC Sports Network, WXDX-FM (105.9).
  • Probably goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury for Penguins. James Reimer for Maple Leafs.
  • Penguins: Are 10-1 in past 11 home games, including 5-4 shootout victory against Toronto Jan. 31. ... C Jordan Staal has a point in five consecutive games. ... Have allowed one goal in past 19 short-handed situations at Consol Energy Center.
  • Maple Leafs: Are 8-3-3 against Atlantic Division opponents, including 2-0-1 against Penguins. ... LW Clarke MacArthur has scored team-high 14 goals on road. ... Have gone 5-7-1 in second game when playing on consecutive days.
  • Hidden stat: Penguins have won 11 of past 12 games when they've opened the scoring.

He finally was cleared for contact Tuesday and got some during and after his team's practice. How Crosby deals with hitting, and being hit, will determine precisely when he will rejoin the lineup.

"I'm going to give myself days, for sure, of contact," he said. "If you look at our schedule, we have two more practices, I think, this week. [I could return] no sooner than Sunday, I would say. But I'm not going to sit here and put a date on it. It would be total guesswork. I just want to make sure I get through these days fine."


First Published 2012-03-06 23:08:20

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