Oct 20, 2011, 5:16 PM EDT
It was big news last week when doctors cleared Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for contact during practice, something many saw as a major step towards returning to action.
Just one problem. Since the announcement, Pittsburgh’s barely had any practices.
Thanks to a grueling opening schedule, injuries and suspensions, the Pens have taken an Iverson-esque approach to practice. (Practice?) Pittsburgh’s been limited almost entirely to game-day skates, conducting just one off-day practice (practice!) since Crosby was cleared.
Not ideal, according to No. 87.
“It will be nice to kind of get into those situations, not just being hit, but being able to go out there and think and react,” Crosby told reporters today. “You can only do so many drills by yourself.”
Crosby might be doing solo drills for a while. The Pens have five more games over the next 10 days (though three of them are at the Consol Energy Center) and don’t get a significant break until early November, when they’re off from Nov. 6-10. Realistically speaking, that window looks to be Crosby’s first opportunity to receive some contact.
“I’m anxious for that for sure but, that being said, there needs to be times and situations and we haven’t gotten a lot of those lately with our schedule,” Crosby said. “As things go on, we’ll get more and more time and hopefully get a better feel for where I’m at as far as contact is concerned.”
Here’s a question for you: If you’re a Penguin, aren’t you a little leery of delivering Crosby’s first hit? Because the thought of re-injuring him is a terrifying proposition. If it happens in the course of an actual game, that’s understandable — but if you’re on the same team and you take Crosby out in practice? That’s heavy.
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