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When Will Sidney Be Back To Play?

A cheer could be heard coming from Pittsburgh on Thursday, at about the exact moment Sidney Crosby was cleared for contact by his doctors and coaches. That cheer is no doubt a predecessor for the bigger one we’ll hear once Sid is cleared to actually return to play in games — which he hasn’t been yet. And just when he will be, the coaches are still standing by their line, “We’re not putting a timetable on it.”

After Sidney exchanged his white helmet for a black practice helmet, there wasn’t much contact to be had. Of course, you can never expect a practice to resemble a real game, especially when it comes to hitting and fighting, but defenseman Ben Lovejoy did admit that “at first I was tentative about it and I didn’t want him to get mad.”

But if there’s anyone Sidney’s mad at, it’s no doubt himself and his own body’s inability to heal as quickly as he would like it to. Although Sidney has been cleared for contact during practice, he probably won’t be back this week as many people have hoped and even predicted; and it could even be much longer. Even with his improvements, Sidney has admitted that he still has a lot of work to do on his timing, shooting, reaction time and for the most part, just getting his legs under him.

There’s still so much hope though, and one cannot forget how far this superstar has come. Crosby certainly hasn’t, saying “It’s a progression thing. Even at this point it’s a lot better than it was. It can get better too, as far as my timing and seeing all those things.”

Unfortunately, he probably won’t be back for the long stretch the Pittsburgh Penguins are facing. On Monday they’re in Winnipeg to face the Jets, then they’re in Minnesota on Tuesday. The Penguins will return home for their game on Thursday against Montreal and will stay on home ice for their game against New Jersey on Saturday. And at this point, it looks like it might take a miracle to get Sid back in time for that stretch.

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