Originally posted on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 1/13/12

If you're new around here you might think all I write about is the Pittsburgh Penguins. As a fan of the St. Louis Blues, I assure you this is not the case. The Penguins have just presented several noteworthy stories over the past week or two with a ton of injuries, incorrect diagnoses and now the return of Sidney Crosby to the ice. 

Crosby skated for the first time in over a month, joining his teammates during their practice on Friday. His teammates welcomed him back with a fitting tribute by all wearing "C"s on their sweaters to honor their captain. Crosby wasn't a participant in the team's practice but did work on his passing with an assistant coach while also doing some individual work after the bulk of his team had left the ice. 

Whether you're a fan of the Penguins or not you have to admit that the league is better off when Sidney Crosby is healthy. Like it or not, Crosby is the face of the league and his regular presence on the ice benefits all of us as hockey fans that hope the league will continue to grow and expand. Given the unending turmoil surrounding hits to the head and concussions, it would do the league as a whole a lot of good if Crosby was able to make a full recovery and return to his normal self.

Though he returned to the ice, Crosby isn't out of the woods yet. He did some individual work today but he hasn't been cleared to be a regular participant in practice. On that note, he also hasn't taken a check since he started feeling concussion-like symptoms when his team battled the Boston Bruins on December 5th. Still, his return to skating is encouraging and does signal that his symptoms have subsided enough to at least train in some capacity. 

Crosby's return to NHL action may still be a ways off but the Penguins should get at least a mental lift seeing their captain back on the ice. The Penguins have been devastated by injuries throughout their roster, sending them in a spiral down the Eastern Conference standings. Assuming he stays on track, Crosby's return could come at a time the Penguins could use a boost the most. 

Stay tuned to this spot for more news/analysis on the Crosby situation. Hopefully Crosby's most recent setback will be his last as far as concussions are concerned. For a sport that is under the microscope as far as head injuries and concussions go, the NHL can not afford to have its prized star continually missing time.

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This article first appeared on Puck Drunk Love and was syndicated with permission.

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