Sidney Crosby will practice Friday.
That is the good news.
The other news, though no less significant, is that Crosby will not take contact.
He has not received that clearance from doctors, so this session Friday at Southpointe will be only a slight upgrade on the individual on-ice workouts he has undergone for about two weeks.
Crosby has missed nearly four full weeks with this injury. He last played March 30.
There was hope – or, at least, guarded optimism – that he could play before the regular season ended.
The end will come Saturday at Consol Energy Center for the Penguins, and Crosby will not be in the lineup.
The fair question now is whether he can play before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins will practice just twice between now and then and there is not an indication Crosby will or will not cleared for contact for those sessions.
Crosby needs at least one real practice before playing. He needs to take contact while wearing that new face gear.
The likelihood is he plays at some point during Round 1.
The Penguins job in the playoffs, at least at the start, will be to make sure Crosby doesn’t face more pressure – as in, a series deficit – upon his return.
Always check here for Tribune-Review Penguins coverage: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/
And keep coming back here for your best Penguins inside scoop.
Rob Rossi covers the Penguins and NHL for Trib Total Media and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He is ClearChannel’s Penguins Insider. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib.