It’s been ten months since Sidney Crosby last skated in an NHL game. Multiple concussions have sidelined the Pittsburgh Penguins star forward since then, but that ends tonight in Pittsburgh when he’ll return to action in Pittsburgh’s Monday night game against the visiting New York Islanders. Despite knowing that yet another head trauma injury could potentially end his career, Crosby insists he’s not afraid, merely anxious, to get back out on the ice with his teammates:
“I think anybody that has gone through this and missed this amount of time, you’ve got to make sure you get involved early and get that first hit under your belt,” Crosby told reporters Monday in Pittsburgh, hours before he was to take to the ice for his first game back.
Crosby last skated on January 5th of last season when he was knocked out with a concussion in the Pens’ game against Tampa Bay. The crushing blow came a mere four days after he was knocked out of the Penguins’ New Year’s Day Winter Classic Game against the Washington Capitals. He missed the remainder of the ‘10-’11 season, and has thus far not appeared in any of Pittsburgh’s 20 games so far in ‘11-’12.
“Everything has gone really smooth here the last little while. I was comfortable with how I felt going through contact. I was very comfortable and confident that I was able to come back. I went through all that stuff and here I am.”
Crosby reportedly will be limited in his return, but that hasn’t stopped one of the game’s brightest, most marketable stars from understanding the magnitude of the moment:
“It’s something I’ve thought about a lot over the last 10 months, so it’s pretty exciting. You don’t always get this anxious for games and this is one I can definitely say I’m anxious and excited for.”
The puck drops in Pittsburgh’s game against the Islanders at 7:00 pm est Monday night. For more pregame coverage, visit Pensburgh, and stay tuned here for in-game updates and post-game analysis and reaction.