In the past 3 to 4 days, more and more vibes out of Sidney Crosby’s camp and even those in the Penguins organization, have centered around the expectation that Sidney Crosby will return this season.
According to sources for over a week now, Crosby’s intention is to play this season and not take pre-cautionary measures, such as for example, decide to shutdown for the season, even if cleared.
The focus has been on returning for the post-season and as Rob Rossi of the Trib writes in a good read, several of Crosby’s teammates believe a return for the post-season is going to happen.
The sense now is that Crosby returning is not a matter of “if” but “when”.
Crosby who continues to progress considerably in the past two weeks, is expected to receive clearance to practice with the team at somepoint this coming week, likely later in the week, which will be the next big step in his return.
It should be noted that no one publicly from the team has stated a timetable is in place for Crosby to return to practice but the expectation from those with knowledge of situation is that he’s likely 4-7 days away from full participation in practices.
According to the Penguins, Crosby skated for around 45 minutes today, going through individual workouts with Mark Letestu, Eric Godard, Eric Tangradi and Nick Johnson.
Head coach Dan Bylsma, as expected, today tried to downplay expectations and is remaining cautious.
“Sid’s been around a lot for three weeks, four weeks. He’s in every day, ” Bylsma said. “He’s talking to our players, so he has been with our team for a while now.
“There has been no expectations, no timetable in talking about when it’s time for him to even return with the team. Whatever optimism there is, it’s maybe been created by the buzz of the media, ” Bylsma said.
Barring an unforeseen setback, bank on Crosby returning for the post-season. All signs continue to point to that and Crosby at even 70-75% will make Pittsburgh a Cup favorite out of the East.