Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby stated after practice on Thursday morning that his status has not changed and no future examinations of his jaw are scheduled at this time, according to Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Crosby was not medically cleared to participate in Wednesday night's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal opener against the New York Islanders. The Penguins captain has missed 12 regular season games and one postseason game due to a fractured jaw sustained on March 30 during a game against the Islanders.
While he has been cleared to resume practicing with the team, Crosby will require medical clearance to make sure his jaw has properly healed. Despite his status remaining unchanged, it appears as though Crosby is progressing towards a return.
Considering how handily the Penguins defeated the Islanders on Wednesday night, it seems reasonable that Pittsburgh will ease Crosby back into the lineup. There is no question that this organization constructed this team with the sole intention of winning the Stanley Cup. If Game 1 is any indication, New York will not be much of a deterrent in accomplishing that goal. Until the Islanders prove otherwise, there is no reason to rush Crosby back.
With that in mind, having Crosby return prematurely and losing him in Round 1 would be a silly risk. The concern about Crosby's return is whether the titanium plates have properly fused with the fractured pieces of his jaw. Once it's determined that has occurred and his ability to handle physical contact is assured, he will be permitted to return to game action.