Sounding understandably nervous about how things may go when he returns to NHL action, on Friday Sidney Crosby said he wanted to be as "tested" as possible before playing. Crosby has been out since Dec. 5 after suffering recurring concussion symptoms.
"You're not going to be able to simulate a game anyway, but you have to make sure you're as tested as you can be," he said. "I only want to do this one more time."
After suffering recurring symptoms following a game against the Boston Bruins Dec. 5, it could be the Bruins he next faces. Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins host the Florida Panthers on Friday and then Boston on Sunday. Crosby ruled out playing against Florida but did not rule out playing against the Bruins. He'll make that determination after practicing Saturday, he said.
Sidney Crosby: neck injury discovered
Crosby has been back skating for about six weeks but was only cleared for contact Tuesday. He acknowledged that contact in practice is not what contact in a game is like, but said that despite the difficulty in getting game-like situations in practice, he is working to make his practices as game-like as possible. "Everything has been good but like I said, I don't think I've really (been) tested a ton," Crosby told reporters.
He came back on Nov. 21 and played 8 games, scoring twice and setting up 10 for 12 points. At that time the Pens were unaware that he had a neck injury that may have caused his symptoms, fractures to the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Upon making that discover in late January, Crosby received treatment for those injuries.
It is hoped that rather than a concussion, his symptoms were caused by those (they believe now-healed) injuries to his neck.