Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby is nearing a return to the ice after undergoing surgery on his left wrist in September.
"His status right now is day-to-day," head coach Mike Sullivan said Wednesday. "He participated out there [at practice] full capacity today. We will see how he responds... We think he's getting real close."
The Penguins said at the time of his procedure that Crosby would need at least six weeks to recuperate. Oct. 20 represented the six-week mark, so the eight-time All-Star should be healthy again soon as long as he didn't experience any setbacks in his recovery.
Crosby isn't the only notable goal scorer who has been absent from Pittsburgh's forward line to open the season. Evgeni Malkin remains unavailable because of offseason right knee surgery, with general manager Ron Hextall confirming in September he was likely to miss the first two months.
Despite not having Crosby and Malkin, the Penguins have eight points (3-1-2) through six games and sit fourth in the Metropolitan Division.
Sullivan was enthusiastic about Crosby's impact on the team at practice:
Wes Crosby @OtherNHLCrosby
Sullivan on having Sidney Crosby back at first-line center in practice: "You can see the reaction, even with our own players. We just have more of a jump in our step. He has that influence." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pens?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pens</a>
In terms of pure scoring, Pittsburgh hasn't missed the 34-year-old too much. The team is averaging four goals per game, tied for seventh-best in the league. Once Crosby is back in the lineup, he should help improve a power-play unit that's tied for a more modest 18th in conversion rate (19.1 percent).