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Sidney Crosby returns to Penguins practice...Kinda

There’s an asterisk but Sidney Crosby was on the ice with his teammates at practice this morning.

Chicago Blackhawks v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

If the Penguins’ team and fanbase could have ever used some good news it would be a day like today. After a morning where it was revealed current leading scorer Jake Guentzel will be out for 4-6 months due to a shoulder surgery, what could be a better present than seeing Sidney Crosby back on the ice with his teammates?

Well, we got it....Kind of.

After practice, Crosby was quick to clarify that his participation today wasn’t the major step it appeared.

Crosby was announced out for “at least six weeks” on November 21st and six weeks from that day exactly would be on this upcoming Thursday, the day of the next game. However, Sid also said he will NOT play on Thursday and that there is “no timeline” to return.

In a sense, that’s a good thing. Guentzel is gone, but the team can’t rush a Crosby return just because of that. Crosby’s rehab must be independent of whatever is going on with the Pens, good or bad. When he’s ready and cleared to be back, he’ll be back. No sooner, no later.

It was exciting to see Crosby was back out on the ice and a bit of a bummer for him to qualify it as not a full return to practice, and that obviously the plan is for him to continue his work alone tomorrow. Based on that, he probably isn’t going to be coming back for a back-to-back set on Saturday-Sunday, so a possible return at some point next week feels like it makes a lot more sense.

It’s tough to be patient, especially given all the other injury woes, but the one positive aspect to remember is that each day going by brings us that much closer to the eventual Crosby return, no matter when it will be. We just know now it’s not going to be in the very immediate future.