Penguins star Sidney Crosby returning against Panthers

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby is making his season debut Tuesday night against Florida.

The two-time MVP and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner hasn't played since sustaining a concussion in practice earlier this month. Crosby returned to practice on Monday and participated in Pittsburgh's game-day skate on Tuesday morning.

Crosby had described himself as a "game-time" decision and called his participation in a full-contact practice on Monday as a major milestone in his recovery.

"Ultimately to get to that step yesterday of having contact, you have to be symptom-free and that's been the case," Crosby said.

Crosby missed the better part of two seasons after sustaining a concussion in January 2011. He stressed he didn't panic when doctors told him of the latest diagnosis.

"Guys have had them before and it's been a long time since I've had to deal with that myself," he said. "It's not something you want to hear. It's something you want to treat the right way."

The Penguins are off to a 3-2-1 start with Crosby out of the lineup.

Defenseman Kris Letang skated with the team on Tuesday, but wore a non-contact jersey and will miss his third straight game with an undisclosed injury.