After a wrist surgery on September 8th that carried a minimum six week recovery time for Sidney Crosby, it would be tough to not notice that Wednesday marked the six week point. It’s been a fairly quiet week for Crosby though, he’s been skating before and sometimes during Penguins practices for quite a while, but the captain was off the ice on Wednesday and Thursday in what was described as planned rest or off-ice rehab days. Crosby has already been ruled out from playing in tomorrow’s game against Toronto.
However, on Friday, Crosby was practicing more than ever before — even stepping into line rushes and playing a bit with power play drills in another small but tangible step forward in his process to eventually rejoin the lineup.
Sidney Crosby working in a bit with the second power play. He also rotated a little with Drew O'Connor on the third line.— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) October 22, 2021
Remember, Crosby was ruled out for Saturday by Sullivan yesterday. #Pens pic.twitter.com/hnzTFLWO3o
After practice, Sid also talked with the media, which is something that almost never happens for injured Pens players.
Crosby: "So I think we all felt like it was something I wouldn’t have got through this season if I didn’t take care of it. Unfortunately end up missing some time here early, but I guess the other side of that was missing a lot more games, probably, in the middle of the year."— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) October 22, 2021
This next quote is key in where Crosby is at physically. While it is great that Pittsburgh is 2-0-2 to start the season, this isn’t a situation where the team is giving Crosby more time or not rushing him back due to the success on the ice right now. With a wrist like this, Crosby is not capable of playing right now.
Crosby said at this point, he hasn't really had any force, "whether it be through faceoffs or lifting sticks or going against guys. Battling, pushing around, shoving...those are things I haven’t been able to do." When he can do those things comfortably, that'll be a big step.— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) October 22, 2021
Even if the Pens were 0-2-2 or 0-4-0, Crosby can’t play and he’s not going to help much as a center when he doesn’t have the strength in his wrist to be effective at bearing down for faceoffs or being able to battle.
Based on being on the ice and being around the team, the sense was positive that Crosby might miss close to the bare minimum amount of time possible, which would have seen him dress for his first game tomorrow against the Maple Leafs. Now, we know that won’t happen quite so soon and Crosby said today he has no specifically target return date, it will be based on when he is ready. It remains to be seen when that will be, but hopefully it won’t be too much longer.
Kapanen on how Crosby looked today: "I mean, it's Sidney Crosby. He's always going to be the best player out there." #Pens— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) October 22, 2021