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Penguins' Sidney Crosby finally cleared for contact

October 13, 2011 |  8:19 am

Crosby
Sidney Crosby said the next big step in his recovery from a concussion would be getting cleared to resume contact.

That happened to be Thursday in Pittsburgh.

It came at the morning skate in the form of Crosby wearing a black helmet, which signifies clearance for contact, according to multiple media reports. The Penguins host the Capitals tonight, and play Buffalo on Saturday in Pittsburgh before a two-game trip to Winnipeg and Minnesota next week.

Crosby's last NHL game was Jan. 5, and progress has been relatively swift of late, after months and months of frustration, which had raised questions about his future. Now the speculation will center on his return: Where and when?

He was smiling and upbeat last week when the Penguins were in Calgary.

"I've gone as hard as I can and tried to push it as much as I can," Crosby said in an interview Friday. "And I've responded well. It's more a matter of time than pushing that next level. If there is a next level, it would be contact and how I respond to that. Everything else leading up to this point has gone well."

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--Lisa Dillman

 Photo: Sidney Crosby. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press.

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