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Don't expect to see Penguins' Crosby out west

Center Sidney Crosby said Monday he will not play for the Penguins in either of two games on a West Coast trip this week.

Crosby, who has not played since Jan. 5 because of a concussion, said he is symptom-free since returning to full-contact practices Oct. 13 — but he has not set a date for his anticipated comeback.

"It's not just an automatic thing to go through hitting," he said. "It's a big step, and I just want to make sure I get through that well. That's the most important thing, however long it takes. I just want to make sure it goes well, and I'm giving myself the best chance to make sure I can handle it."

Crosby described the amount of contact he has absorbed in practices as "not a ton," but added, "the next few days I hope to get more."

"Sometimes you're fighting for pucks, you're battling (in) corners and you get hit sometimes when you don't expect it, you're trying to handle the puck and you don't look for someone — all that stuff is much different than being prepared (for) a one-on-one-battle," he said.

The Penguins play at San Jose on Thursday and at Los Angeles on Saturday before returning home for a game against Dallas on Nov. 11 at Consol Energy Center.

He is not the only injured Penguins center. Jordan Staal did not play in a loss at Toronto on Saturday because of a lower-body injury.

"He did skate before practice," coach Dan Bylsma said of Staal yesterday. "He's still day-to-day. It seems like he probably will be fine going forward, but we'll see how that works out later in the week."

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