Could Crosby be “Game-Time Decision” Friday Night?

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby hasn’t yet ruled himself out of Friday night’s home game against the Dallas Stars, and neither has the team.

When asked whether or not he could return Friday, Crosby replied “That’s a possibility. Just like however many games left there are,” adding that “Everyone else’s guesses are as good as mine.”

That’s a slightly different response than he gave when asked about last week’s games against San Jose and Los Angeles, when he stated that he wouldn’t be playing in either game early on in the week.

Crosby returned early from the team’s West Coast trip to meet with doctors on Saturday. The early return was originally unscheduled, fueling speculation that the superstar center was aiming for a return this week.

However, head coach Dan Bylsma seemed adamant in rejecting any speculation about the trip home pointing to a return being imminent for Crosby. “He’s progressing,” Bylsma told NHL.com. “He’s going down that road. I’ll reiterate to you again, there is not a timetable or a date right now that we know and you don’t,” adding that Sid “got back out there [on the ice] after the weekend, and he’ll to continue to practice with the team this week.”

Taking into consideration the fact that believing a head coach in regards to any injury is like believing a hooker when she tells you you’re her first, the Penguins are expected to keep any information regarding Crosby’s return under tight wraps. It has been speculated that Crosby will be deemed a “game-time decision” on the night he does return to the ice, regardless of at what point in the day the decision is made.

Crosby hasn’t missed any practices due to the concussion since training camp began in September. He was cleared for contact nearly a month ago, and hasn’t reported concussion-like symptoms for over two months. His day is coming. He considers himself “day-to-day” at this point, and while that doesn’t neccessarily guarantee a return even in the next month (both he and Malkin were given the “day-to-day” tag at some point during last year’s postseason), one can’t help but believe he’ll be dressed some time in the next few games.

Sid suffered his first concussion on 1/1/11. Friday’s game will be played on 11/11/11. Seems pretty fair for the no. 1 player in the world.

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