Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan continues to tease the return of superstar Sidney Crosby, who hasn’t yet played this season as he recovers from wrist surgery he underwent on Sept. 8.
Sullivan said Monday that Crosby was “a whole lot closer” to playing before ruling the captain out for Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a matchup the Pens dropped 5-1 for their first regulation loss of the campaign. Crosby then skated on the top line and on the team’s top power-play unit during Wednesday’s practice, and Sullivan later told reporters the 34-year-old is “real close” to making his season debut.
“We’ll see how he responds,” Sullivan added about Crosby, according to Michelle Crechiolo of the team’s website. “We’ll listen to the medical staff and we’ll make decisions accordingly. But we’re really encouraged with his progress.”
Sullivan did, however, stop short of saying Crosby will be available for Thursday’s contest against the 4-1-1 Calgary Flames. Pittsburgh is 3-1-2 without Crosby coming off Tuesday’s result, so keeping the future Hall of Famer a spectator until at least Saturday’s game versus the New Jersey Devils could benefit all involved when it matters most during the springtime months.