Pens not optimistic Crosby will play in playoff opener
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Though he continues to participate in non-contact practices with the Penguins, superstar center Sidney Crosby is short on time regarding a return for the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs next week.
After a morning practice today, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma reiterated that there is no timetable for Crosby's return.
"He has a couple more steps to go in his rehabilitation before he can even think about returning to play," Bylsma said. "I don't know how fast that's going to happen. I don't know if that's going to happen.
"Considering he has a couple more steps to go through it seems like anything in the immediate future is out of the question."
Crosby hasn't played since Jan. 5 while recovering from a concussion, and the Penguins are 21-13-5 without him heading into a game tonight against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
The Stanley Cup playoffs open Wednesday, though the Penguins' opponent and date for Game 1 remains to be determined.
Crosby, still the team leader with 32 goals and 66 points, was cleared for non-contact practices March 29. He must be cleared by doctors for full practices then full contact and remain symptom free after those steps before he can play.
He returned to the ice March 14 after not engaging in much strenuous activity since his concussion diagnosis Jan. 6.
Crosby, per team policy with injured players, was not available for comment after the practice today.