Washington: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby practiced Wednesday, two days after being diagnosed with a concussion, but will miss the reigning NHL champions’ season-opener on Thursday.
Coach Mike Sullivan confirmed Crosby won’t play when the Penguins host the Washington Capitals where the Pens will raise their Stanley Cup banner in a pre-game ceremony.
Crosby skated on his own for a second successive day before joining teammates for his first practice since sustaining a concussion in training on Friday.
“I’m always happy when I’m on the ice,” Crosby told reporters after the workout. “I’m always happy. I’ve been through this before I don’t get too caught up in every little step.
“It’s a game you want to be a part of, but at the same time, I’ve spent more than enough time being in this situation. You understand you have to be patient. You have to make sure you listen to your body. If you’re ready, you’re ready. If not, you don’t take any chances and give yourself a lot better chance of not having it happen again.”
Sullivan was cautiously optimistic about Crosby’s appearance on the ice.
“We’ll take it step by step and we’re following the guidance of our medical team and we’ll go from there but he’s certainly making progress and that’s encouraging from our standpoint,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said Crosby will have to go through a full-contact practice before he is cleared to play in a regular-season game.
Crosby, 29, was diagnosed with the third documented concussion of his 12-year NHL career on Monday.
On Tuesday, the star center skated with injured teammate Bryan Rust, who is recovering from an undisclosed injury.
Crosby has a history with concussions after a collision in the 2011 Winter Classic outdoor game set off a long recovery that shortened two seasons for him.
Crosby won the Stanley Cup for the second time in June and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Last month, Crosby was named MVP of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 after leading all scorers with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) to help Team Canada win the global tournament.