MVP Penguin Hits The Ice

Clearly, it felt good to be back at work for Sidney Crosby as the Penguin hit the ice with his teammates for the first time in months. The former MVP skated alongside his Pittsburgh Penguin teammates for about an hour on Saturday as the club opened training camp. Crosby took face-offs. He rushed end-to-end. He avoided a playful squirt from a water bottle by coach Dan Bylsma. He pushed himself. “I went as hard as I possibly could out there,” Crosby said. Other than a white helmet indicating he wasn’t to be touched and the rousing ovation he received when his familiar No. 87 jersey came out of the tunnel and onto the bench, Crosby blended right in, which is just the way he wants it. The last nine months have been difficult for Crosby as he’s slowly, painfully recovered from concussion-like symptoms. Though he said earlier this month it’s “likely” he’ll play at some point this season, Crosby remains reluctant to put any sort of timetable on his return. “I want to get back,” he said. “I’m doing everything in my power to get back out there, but there’s necessary steps to take and I’m going to make sure I do that.” Crosby plans to participate in every practice during camp except scrimmages, but allows he’ll be cautious. His symptoms resurfaced while training in Canada this summer when he reached 90% of his exertion level. The 24-year-old refused to put a percentage on his workout Saturday, but it was obvious he was spent, dropping to his knees to stretch and gasping for breath at the end of more than one drill.

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