Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Crosby is back on the ice (No, really!)

As reports the Post-Gazette in a quick little blurb:

Penguins center Sidney Crosby began skating this week while the team was on the road and did so again today before the team's practice at Mellon Arena.
There is no indication that the timetable for his return has changed. Crosby, out with a high ankle sprain, is expected back in March.

This is good news. Don't expect him back this weekend or anything, but we're most encouraged because that article indicates he's skated more than once. Which would say that he tested it oneday and the pain was obviously not a factor that he could go back out and do it again.

Then a natural second thought: holy crap this is happening too quickly, it hasn't even been 3 weeks since he got hurt.

The Penguins training staff has dealt with high ankle sprains twice this season. They may have even let Maxime Talbot come back to quickly and it cost him almost a month. They've been much more catious in treating Marc-Andre Fleury, though it is vital for him to push off his ankle to play the butterfly style of goal.

Given the stakes, there's no reason to push Crosby or try to get him back in the lineup too soon. Because everyone knows, in that case it will get re-aggravated and that might be too much for the team's morale to bear. But, seven Crosby-less games have shown guys like Ryan Malone, Petr Sykora and Jordan Staal have noticeably stepped up their play and helped Evgeni Malkin to carry the banner. The ship is not sinking without Crosby.

But the point is, it can really get kicked into high gear when he gets back.

Also on the injury front it seems like Tyler Kennedy and Gary Roberts are making slow but steady steps back to recovery too. Hopefully the Pens have weathered the worst of this storm and the troops will be back in time to push for the playoffs.

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