After being on the receiving end of hard hits on January 1 and 5, Sidney Crosby was sidelined for the rest of last season. He was leading the league in points with 66 in just 41 games—exactly half of the season.
Despite having over eight months to recover, not even Penguins coach Dan Bylsma knows whether the Pens superstar will be ready for the start of the season.
Bylsma told NHL.com, "Sidney's progressed nicely this summer, he's had a long summer, he's worked out in June and July," Bylsma said. "We're hoping for Sidney to come back in and be ready to go for training camp. I know he's worked out more now than he has probably the last three summers."
Despite his working out, Crosby is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms. According to Crosby, it's mostly headaches.
There's the possibility Crosby might not even report to camp. But even if he does, he needs to wait to be cleared for contact before absorbing hits in practice or playing any games.
Then there's also the big question: Will Sidney Crosby ever be the same player?
After getting hit two solid times that led to the concussion, Crosby may shy away from physical play. It's human instinct to avoid the similar problem, and could possibly lower Crosby's effectiveness.
Bylsma said he believes Crosby may fall victim to that, "If you have a concussion, you don't think about it a month later when you've played for 10 games. It's not like any other injury, there's a level of confidence and a little bit of time when you're checking your knee out, but there's also a time when you jump in the water and you're swimming."
Right now, the situation is Crosby is working out, and hoping to return to the NHL to start the season. Before he can, he needs to be healthy enough to return to camp.
The question of his skills and where he will be when he does return is one that we will have to wait to see the answer to.