SPORTS

Crosby to practise with Penguins without contact

09/16/2011 11:21 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 01:36 EST

Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby said Friday he will begin practising with the team in training camp.

Crosby, who has been cleared to practise, but without contact, will skate on Saturday during the Penguins' first day of camp.

"I'm excited to get going," Crosby told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'm pretty happy with the way things have gone this past week or so. Exertion's been pretty high."

Crosby has been sidelined since January after suffering a pair of concussions within a week. The 24-year-old team captain practised with his teammates in April without contact, but experienced symptoms related to his concussions including headaches.

Crosby said training camp should provide an ideal barometer of how he's progressing.

"I think camp will be a pretty good indication," he said. "It's going to be pretty intense."

Last week Crosby gave an update on his status during a press conference at the Consol Energry Center in Pittsburgh.

Flanked by concussion specialists Dr. Michael Collins and Dr. Ted Carrick, along with Penguins general manager Ray Shero, Crosby stressed that he would not return unless he was fully recovered.

"Maybe I could get by on 90 per cent, maybe I couldn't, but I'm not going to roll the dice with it," he said.

Crosby also understands the worst-case consequences of his injury, though he said the thought of retirement hasn't seriously entered his mind.

"I wouldn't bet on that."

The team will keep a close eye on its star player throughout the camp with no schedule set for when he will be cleared for contact.

The Penguins start their season on Oct. 6 against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

MORE:cbcSports