What Sidney Crosby's Return Means (3 Short Observations)

Eron NoreContributor IIINovember 20, 2011

What Sidney Crosby's Return Means (3 Short Observations)

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that Sidney Crosby will return to the lineup against the New York Islanders on Monday. This is welcome news for both the league and the Penguins.

    However, just because Sid is back does not mean medical caution should just go away. Here are three quick observations on what Sid's return means.

Last Step That Leads to a New First Step

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    Competing in an NHL game is the last step for Sidney Crosby in his return from two January concussions. That last step leads him right to a new first step.

    It is unknown how many minutes Sid will play on Monday, but since the Penguins are home all week, he will be meeting with the doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on Tuesday and probably a few more times this week.

    Now it all becomes about seeing how his body reacts to the toughest challenge. Game competition will be the largest amount of physical exertion he has faced since the injury.

Still No Need to Rush

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    Even though it would likely break the Internet, do not rule out the possibility that Sid could still miss some games this week or over the course of the near term. That would not necessarily mean there are any setbacks, but it could mean that there are some things the doctors need to monitor.

    Remember, it is still November. Getting Crosby back into games is great news, but we want and need him in games when they count. If there is a need to sit him out to make sure everything continues to move forward, then Penguins fans should support that.

An End to a Distraction (Hopefully)

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    It could not have been easy over the past two weeks to be a teammate of Sidney Crosby. The Canadian media descended on Pittsburgh based on speculation that he would return to action Nov. 11.

    He did not, and the players honestly had no idea it was coming. They finally do not have to put up with questions about his health, rumors about when he would play, worries that there was a more serious injury at work and speculation that there was a slim chance that Sid would not return to the NHL.

    It all is about winning or losing games once again. November 21, 2011 will be a great day for hockey.