How long is Sidney Crosby out? Injury timeline, return date, latest updates on Pittsburgh Penguins star

Sporting News

Sidney Crosby is getting closer to a return.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain could suit up soon following an arduous two-month recovery from sports hernia surgery on Nov. 14. Crosby's absence was just part of a larger injury crisis for the Penguins, who have seen Kris Letang, Patric Hornqvist and Evgeni Malkin all miss substantial time this season.

The Penguins have dealt well with the crisis, heading into the Jan. 11 weekend second in the Metropolitan Division. Crosby's return could be the spark needed to take a run at the top spot — something that seemed unlikely when the 32-year-old superstar was forced out of the lineup in November.

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MORE: Crosby undergoes surgery to repair hernia

How long will Sidney Crosby be out?

The Penguins captain underwent "muscle injury repair" to fix his sports hernia on Nov. 14, which will hold him out of the lineup for a minimum of six weeks, the team said in a statement.

"Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby underwent a successful muscle injury repair . . . the surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers of the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. The expected recovery time is a minimum of six weeks."

On Dec. 16, the team announced that Crosby has been skating for about a week but provided no update on his return timetable.

"He's making progress in his rehab process," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "We're encouraged by where he's at. As he gets closer, we'll update you."

A video of Crosby skating during the team's practice on Dec. 31 shows Crosby smoothly skating up the ice and taking a shot on net.

Crosby joined the Penguins for their three-game road trip from Jan. 7-12 and took the ice ahead of practice before the club's game in Las Vegas on Jan. 7. According to reports, Crosby will not return against the Golden Knights — but his presence on the road trip suggests Pittsburgh thinks he will be ready to go later in the week.

After skating during parts of two sessions earlier in the week, Crosby was on the ice for 90 minutes on Jan. 10 ahead of a potential return against the Coyotes on Jan. 12. It was his first full practice with the Penguins since his injury, with Crosby saying he'll see how his body responds before deciding whether to play.

"I haven't ruled out anything, but I haven't really discussed it [playing Sunday] much," Crosby told reporters following the session, as quoted by NHL.com. "I'm sure I'll just see how I feel today. That'll be the first question and we'll kind of go from there. I think just getting back out there and feeling good and get better every day, that's the most important thing."

Hours prior to puck drop in Arizona, Sullivan told media that Crosby would not be suiting up on Jan. 12. However, it's believed he will play later in the week.

Sidney Crosby injury timeline

Crosby had been suffering from a hernia since training camp but had been playing through it, leading the team with 17 points through 17 games.

In the third period of the Pens' 3-2 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 9, the 5-11, 200-pound forward was skating into the offensive zone when, while trying not to collide with a backchecking Erik Gustafsson, he skated into the Blackhawks' defender's skate. Not too long after, Crosby took a shot off his right foot before leaving the game and undergoing further evaluation.

The Athletic later confirmed Tuesday that Crosby didn't hurt his foot. Instead, he had to make a decision in regards to a different injury entirely: whether or not to have surgery to repair his hernia. He chose the latter and was not expected to be back before Christmas, via NHL.com.

Crosby was spotted skating before the Penguins' practice on Dec. 31, but the team has not announced any further update on his return to in-game action.

Crosby's presence with the Penguins on their three-game road trip from Jan. 7-12 suggests he could return by their game in Arizona on Jan. 12. He took the ice ahead of practice before the club's game in Las Vegas on Jan. 7. According to reports, Crosby will definitely not return against the Golden Knights.

The Penguins captain practiced three times during the team's Jan. 7-12 road trip, putting in his first full 90-minute session two days prior to Pittsburgh's game in Arizona.

"We're encouraged by his progress and we'll take each day as it comes," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after practice Saturday, as quoted by NHL.com. "We'll see how he responds and we'll make decisions accordingly.

"We're not ruling anything out; we're going to take each day as it comes."

Sullivan told media hours prior to the Jan. 12 game in Arizona that Crosby will not take part.

Sidney Crosby injury updates

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