From the Point Too
by brianmetzer on 10/13/11 at 02:17 PM ET
“Angels we have heard on high,” was the song of the day in Pittsburgh as the news of Chris Kunitz’s contact extension was quickly followed by that which Pens’ fans have been waiting for since January – Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact.
Crosby has been making progress by leaps and bounds over the past few weeks and like Kunitz’s contract, it seemed to be a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ he would be cleared for contact.
“It’s a step in the right direction and we’ll see how it goes in the next couple of days,” Crosby said.
Crosby wasn’t sure how long this step in his recovery would go on, in fact, he wasn’t sure that his teammates would even be willing to hit him.
“When a guy’s coming back from injury, you’re usually a little hesitant, that is pretty normal,” Crosby said. “I might have to do something to get them to hit me; maybe bump them [his teammates] a little bit to get them going.”
Crosby and the team hope to get the environment in practice “as close to a game time situation” as they can get it, there are some questions about how long it might take to get the necessary contact going.
“it’s pretty tough right now, we play pretty much every second day and we play in back to back games,” the Penguins’ captain said this morning. “There’s not a lot of practices with contact per se, so I don’t know – I’ve gotta get to get hit at some point here in practice, but it is pretty tough to get that in right now.”
Though this is a big step for Crosby and the Penguins’ in his recovery, there still no plan to rush ‘87’ back to the ice.
“When you’ve waiting this long you just want to make sure that you are doing things right,” Crosby explained. “It’s exciting if anything. I don’t think it’s hard to be patient at this point. [I’m] Getting closer and I just want to make sure I respond well to everything here in the next however long it is.”
When asked to speculate on when exactly he might be ready for game action in light of the cautious approach that has been taken to this point, Crosby didn’t have a definitive answer.
“I think it’s up to how I respond to getting hit.”
Regardless of how long this process takes, the positive vibe in the Penguins room cannot be denied. It is a huge step in the recovery of one of the game’s brightest stars and clearly only a matter of time before he is terrorizing goalies once again.
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