Sidney Crosby is still some distance away from competitive action even if his recovery goes perfectly, but the Pittsburgh Penguins captain took a huge step towards returning to game action on Thursday. The Penguins have confirmed that Crosby has been cleared for contact in practice, which ESPN.com NHL reporter Pierre LeBrun passed along via Twitter. Thursday's practice will be the first time since January that Crosby has seen contact on the ice.
The Penguins have been responsible about not rushing Crosby back to action too soon, but even the most patient of Penguins fans probably aren't going to stop themselves about thinking about his imminent return upon hearing this news. Though no timetable has been set by the Penguins, Crosby could return to game action in a couple of weeks if he does not suffer any recurring symptoms from his January concussion.