Evgeni Malkin skates by himself on Wednesday

Evgeni Malkin was back on the ice, albeit by himself and in Pittsburgh.

The team practiced in Florida today, before they'll fly to Raleigh tonight ahead of the game tomorrow against the Hurricanes. After that, the Pens travel to Montreal for a Saturday night matchup in Montreal, and then they'll return to Pittsburgh.

Malkin won't be with the team for any of that, but it's great news to hear that he continues to have no symptoms and was able to skate a little by himself today.

The next big hurdle will come tomorrow when it's revealed if Malkin suffers any concussion type symptoms (namely headaches and/or nausea) in the interim from now until tomorrow. Ideally any and all symptoms will be in the rearview mirror, in which case doctors can check Malkin out as soon as Sunday and maybe even think about letting him rejoin the team for practices. If he can clear that hurdle and seem 100%, then a return to the lineup won't be too far off.

But, as any seasoned Pens fan will tell you, that moment is still a long way from now. For now, it's a minor victory to hear he's able to skate on his own.

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