Blog Entry

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:22 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:32 pm
Crosby has two goals and 10 assists in eight games this season. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Sidney Crosby has one again been cleared for contact and could be returning very soon. How soon? Perhaps as soon as Sunday.

"I'll give myself days with contact," Crosby said. "We have two more practices this week. No sooner than Sunday, I would say, but I'm not going to sit here and put a date on it. It would be total guesswork. I just want to make sure I get through these days fine and that would be a great decision to make if I get to that point.

"The big step is contact. Hopefully, I can do that for a few days and get back out there."

If he does make his return on Sunday it will come against the Boston Bruins -- NBC already has it scheduled to be the national game of the week. The interesting angle there, of course, is that it was against the Bruins that Crosby played his last game.

Crosby has been practicing with his Penguins teammates for a while but there were no updates coming from the Penguins about his status until after the team's skate on Tuesday. That's when Crosby revealed he has been cleared.

You'll remember that Crosby played eight games earlier this season after sitting out for nearly a full year because of a concussion. He returned to the sideline later with what many were assuming was another concussion. It was later discovered that Crosby had a neck issue that was causing many of the problems since its symptoms can be very similar to those of a concussion.

If -- and this remains an If until Crosby is able to return for an extended time -- he is healthy, is there any question that the Penguins will be one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup? They already have the second best record in the Eastern Conference with Crosby out for all but eight games thus far.

As he showed earlier this season, it shouldn't take long at all for him to get back into top form -- which makes him in my and plenty of other's opinions the best player in the league.

"I've been through this before. Contact is the big step," Crosby said. "It's nice to be symptom free, but it's not as fulfilling until you get out there. I just want to make sure that I take the right steps here and get back out there soon."

It might not be a great day for the rest of the league per se, but it's a great day for hockey.

More from Eye on Hockey

Crosby has 'soft tissue injury'

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Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:50 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

Squizza: The playoffs are not like the regular season. The rest of the team will think the Cup is in the bag if Crosby returns, and they'll fold when he's suddenly gone again. The Letangless Pens, in case you'd forgotten.

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:47 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday are too funny.  "the integrity of the game"?????  LOL!  The refs control the game, the league controls the refs, there is NO INTEGRITY in the NHL game!  Steckel Cheap Shotted Sid and that is very apparent on the video for those that care to see the reality of the hit!  He saw his opportunity and he took it blindsiding Crosby and doing significant damage.  Steckel, a dime a dozen; Crosby, one in a million!  You want another example of the integrity in the game???  HAVE ANOTHER DONUT KOHARSKI!!!  LOL 

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:45 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

To all the doctors posting on here I am certain that many people smarter than you have consulted on whether or not he should be cleared to play. They determined he had a neck injury that feigned concussion symptoms, maybe he has zero concussion issues and has now been treated for the neck injury. I am going to have faith that a $10 mil a year athlete and someone as important to his team and the sport in general is getting better advice than what's on a cbs message board.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:41 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

Big Crosby fan, however, I take this news with mixed feelings.  I can't wait for him to take to the ice and do his stuff but I also want to see him skate for years to come.  I don't know how game ready he is or will be, but I do know the hitting and speed of the game is not like practice and playoff hockey is on a level like no other.  I know if he takes to the ice soon, i'll be holding my breath for awhile.  Now if he comes back and proves he can play like he has in the past, the Pens have to jump to the top to win the cup.  When healthy, they might be the most solid all-around team out there.

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:33 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

As a fan of hockey (not the Pens) Just hit the weights, keep in shape, do what ya gotta do and come back next season. 

If you can keep Malkin and Sid together on the same team they should have plenty more playoff runs in their careers. 

Since: Apr 11, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:29 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

Lose all their momentum like they have done this season, lying second in the Eastern Conference points total after having him play all of 8 games?

Or lose their momentum like playing without Malkin, Staal and Crosby in the same lineup for all of 4 games last season and 6 this?

Or lose their momentum, like getting the joint second amount of points last season with Crosby out from January?

Yes, the Pens went out in the first round but that was without Malkin and Crosby.

Pens have done fine without him, with him who knows?

In the playoffs a lot of big bodies will be trying to lay a big hit. Pens have had difficulty especially in their own end with a big body team. If there's any weakness, it's there. 

Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:17 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

I can appreciate his strong urge to come back.  Just don't do it!  David Perron of the St. Louis Blues took over a year to come back.  Kid plays a solid game, mixes it up from time to time, no problems yet for Perron.  Take some time off Sid, we will remember you a year from now when you dazzle us with your brilliance.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:10 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

@Squizza: He still is done. The contact he gets in practice won't be anything like he'll get in a real game. I see him playing a few games and then WHAM!! A perfectly legal check will take him out. Especially in the playoffs, the other team knows all they have to do is keep targeting Crosby until he's sidelined, and the Pens will lose all their momentum.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:04 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

You never want to see a player end his career early, hopefully he does not come back to early, get hit and it end up being career ending. 

I know he wants to get back on the ice and make a run at another cup, what player wouldn't, but should he take a longer rest seeing that he only played 8 games and was out again?

I am not a Crosby fan but I also don't want to see a promising long career end to soon.   

Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2012 1:53 pm

Crosby cleared for contact, could play on Sunday

So we will make the over under 8 games?  I sure hope the NHL doesn't turn this return into another circus, tired of hearing about this guy.  Is he a good hockey player when he is on the ice, most certainly, but he seems injury prone and there are a lot of other players int he league that should get some attention.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or