Penguins star Sidney Crosby out Thursday vs. Flames
Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Penguins star Sidney Crosby out Thursday vs. Flames

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby has gone from "a whole lot closer" to "real close," in the words of coach Mike Sullivan this week, to making his 2021-22 NHL season debut coming off successful wrist surgery underwent on Sept. 8.

All that's known for sure at the moment is that debut won't occur before the weekend. 

According to Wes Crosby of the NHL's website, Sullivan confirmed his captain won't be on the ice Thursday night when the 3-1-2 Penguins host the 4-1-1 Calgary Flames. 

"So the timeline on how we deal with Sid, I think we'll keep internally," Sullivan added about Crosby's recovery. "That's something that we make decisions with our medical staff on a daily basis at this point. We're at that stage where Sid is really, he's getting closer and closer. So we consult with our medical staff throughout the course of each day and first thing in the morning after an overnight. We get feedback from those guys.

"A lot of it, quite honestly, is based on Sid's feedback as well, and where he's at. We're trying to make sure we put Sid in the best possible position to be successful. So we make those decisions daily."

Crosby has practiced throughout the midweek and skated on the top line and with the top power-play unit Wednesday, and some assumed that meant the 34-year-old would be in the lineup against Calgary. He also participated in an optional skate Thursday. 

The Penguins suffered their first regulation loss of the campaign Tuesday when they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1. Crosby's next opportunity to return to action will be Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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