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Penguins’ Sidney Crosby Cleared to Practice With Full Contact

Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain and leading scorer from last season, has been cleared to practice with full contact as he continues to recover from post-concussion symptoms.

Crosby took part in contact drills with the Penguins yesterday and discussed his condition with reporters after the National Hockey League team’s practice.

“It’s full contact,” Crosby said on the NHL’s website. “It’s a good step in the right direction. It’s a big step. We’ll see how it goes.”

Crosby has not been cleared to play in a game, he said.

“When you’ve waited this long, you just want to make sure everything is right,” he said “It’s exciting. We just have to wait to see how I respond to getting hit, I guess.”

Crosby, a 24-year-old center, is recovering from hard hits in the team’s Jan. 1 Winter Classic outdoor game against the Washington Capitals and a Jan. 5 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Team doctors have said Crosby won’t be cleared to resume playing until he is 100 percent healthy.

After being cleared in July to resume workouts, Crosby stopped skating in mid-August when the concussion symptoms returned.

Crosby missed the final 41 games of last season due to the injury. He registered 66 points in 41 games, setting an NHL record for the fewest games played by a team’s leading scorer.

He was the first pick of the 2005 draft, and two years later won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player at the age of 19, the youngest to get the honor. He also scored the gold medal-winning goal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, lifting Canada over the U.S. in overtime.

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