Standard Spin: The past teaches us not to be overly excited about this news, and the Pens are downplaying Crosby's participation in practice, but our ears perked up when we heard Crosby skated with teammates and fully took part in all drills Monday.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was coy regarding Crosby's unexpected return, saying, "It's not a change in his status, it's just that he would have been lonely by himself (since Jordan Staal and Simon Despres were participating as well)." After Monday's session, it's expected Crosby will go back to solo work again for now.
So, what to make of this? We'd advise against reading too much into it, but things seem to be going in a positive direction, especially in regard to the possibility that some of Crosby's symptoms can be alleviated through treatment of his neck.
Crosby told reporters Monday, "I feel like I've got better the last week or so and hopefully it keeps going the same way. I'm really paying attention to the work on my neck and I think that's a big cause of it. So, like I said before, just being able to focus on that and hopefully seeing improvement with that is nice."
However, when asked if he was symptom free, Crosby said, "No. As soon as I am hopefully I'll be out there. That's where I want to be."
There's obviously still no time-table and there's a long way to go before he returns to action, but at least he appears back on the road to recovery, rather than stalled on the side going nowhere. (2/7/12)