Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who has missed 59 games during the past two seasons, may return to the roster when his team travels to Madison Square Garden to meet the New York Rangers.
Crosby, 24, wants to take advantage of next week’s practices before getting back on the ice March 15 against the Rangers, who lead the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division, four points ahead of the Penguins.
“The good thing is we’ve got a good chunk of practices here next week,” Crosby told reporters. “We’ll see how that goes, and hopefully, it’s soon.”
Crosby sustained head injuries in last year’s Jan. 1 Winter Classic against the Washington Capitals and again four days later against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He missed the rest of the 2010-11 season.
Crosby returned to the ice this season for eight games until he was sidelined when concussion-like symptoms returned during a game against Boston on Dec. 5. After that collision, he was diagnosed with a soft-tissue injury in his neck.
“I still think I need to get to another level as far as the extent of the physicality out there,” Crosby said. “Making sure I’m ready to play the way I need to and be well tested is what’s most important. So hopefully we’ll get that in the next couple of days.”
Crosby originally wanted to play in today’s game against the Boston Bruins. He decided against it after the practice schedule for the week was changed.
“This is something you don’t want to mess around with, especially at this time of year, when it’s even more physical than ever,” he said.