Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
He put up 32 goals and 66 points in only 41 games. Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks won the "Rocket" Richard Trophy with just 18 more goals. Perry played in every game of the regular season. Crosby played in just half of those games.
The question is: When will he return?
Reports are that Crosby has been participating in his regular offseason workout schedule: working out twice a day, off-ice in preparation for training camp. Everything seems to be on schedule, and he's supposedly giving doctors in Pittsburgh updates on his condition.
Physically, Crosby could be ready. Is he ready mentally? I'm not talking about the state of his brain. I'm talking about the state of his mind. It would seem so by the way he was working out and skating before the playoffs this past season.
There are other factors in Crosby's return. Their names are Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero. As evidenced by HBO's 24/7 series centered on the Pens and Washington Capitals, Bylsma and Shero get together to decide who they will be putting in a lineup.
Some might say that Crosby will tell them when he'll be back. However, I think Bylsma and Shero would have a bit of influence over his decision. See the conversation with Jordan Staal in 24/7. Everyone is aware of Crosby's impact when he's on and off the ice. Everyone is also aware of how valuable he is to the team.
That being said, Crosby's work ethic and determination will get him back on the ice soon.
Possible answer: He'll make an appearance during the preseason exhibition games.