Sidney Crosby is hitting the road with his Pittsburgh teammates again, but is not ready for prime time yet. Despite recent speculation that his return could be days away, perhaps in time for the first round of the playoffs, Crosby climbing over the boards again during game action might not occur until next season.Crosby will rejoin his teammates for game-day skates starting today, but it appears increasingly less likely the former NHL MVP will heal from a concussion in time to play again this season, no matter how far the Penguins advance in the post-season.
"The last thing we'll do with Sidney Crosby or any player is push him if he's not ready," general manager Ray Shero said Wednesday.
Crosby, sidelined since early January after sustaining two hard hits in as many games, isn't cleared yet to practise or for anything resembling contact - only to skate with his teammates on game days. Some days he will just work out off the ice, as he has been doing since he resumed skating nearly three weeks ago.
Shero speculated that with the playoffs only two weeks away, there might not be enough time for Crosby to return for the post-season. He ruled out any possibility Crosby could play in any of the team's five remaining regular-season games.
"Our captain is coming back any time soon? That is not our expectation," Shero said. "Having said that, I don't want to take hope away from the player, because he's feeling good about himself. But when I talk to Dan Bylsma, our coach, about a date, a certain date about when Sid might be coming back, the certain date might be in training camp."