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UPDATE: Smiling Crosby Returns to Practice, Status Uncertain

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Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby
Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby: Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was pictured as all smiles on Monday as the superstar center returned to team practice. Crosby participated in just one team practice last week after leaving the Penguins first intra-squad scrimmage, presumably due to injury. Crosby skated on his own before scrimmages and participated in the Penguins Thursday practice.

However, that is all Penguins coaches permitted Crosby.

“I’ve skated on my own a long time, didn’t really feel like I needed another week of it,” Crosby said on Saturday. “…Things are moving in the right direction, so hopefully, I’ll get in that exhibition game.”

When he was healthy, Crosby skated with Jake Guentzel on his left, and Conor Sheary on the right.

Monday, the Penguins PR and social media released the picture of Crosby on the ice. It should be noted, per NHL rules, journalists are not permitted to cover practices or morning skates.

This season, Crosby missed 28 games due to a sports hernia and subsequent core muscle surgery. In 41 games, he scored 47 points, including 16 goals.

The Penguins will participate in their only exhibition game on Tuesday. The NHL slyly matched teams against their top rivals for the exhibition, so the Penguins will face the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The real games begin on Aug. 1. The Penguins will face the Montreal Canadiens in a best-of-five Qualifying Round series, which does not yet count as the playoffs. The winner will advance to Round One to face one of the top-four teams in the Eastern Conference. The loser will be placed in the second phase of the NHL draft lottery in which they will have a 12.5% chance to claim the top overall pick.

Update: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said the Penguins will decide on Tuesday if Crosby will play in the Penguins exhibition game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday afternoon.

However, linemate Jake Guentzel thought Sidney Crosby looked pretty good.

“He looks good every day.”

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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