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Star Crosby back on ice following concussion

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File | Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks on against the Washington Capitals in the first period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 27, 2017 in Washington, DC

PITTSBURGH (AFP) - 

Superstar forward Sidney Crosby skated on Thursday with his Pittsburgh Penguin teammates for the first time since suffering a concussion from an illegal cross-check to the head.

"He's in the process of rehabbing," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Crosby, who has won two Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014 with Canada. "We'll just leave it at that. It's a day-to-day process. We're taking each day as it comes."

The 29-year-old Penguins captain was injured in a playoff game on Monday when American defenceman Matt Niskanen raised his stick and slammed it into the side of Crosby's head as he was off balance in front of net after being clipped moments earlier by the stick of Alex Ovechkin.

Niskanen was given a five-minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct. Niskanen is a former teammate of Crosby's on the Penguins.

Crosby is no stranger to concussions while playing against the Capitals during his epic National Hockey League career.

He needed nearly two years to recover from a concussion suffered in a 2011 outdoor regular season game when he was blindsided by American forward Dave Steckel who was also a member of Washington at the time.

Crosby missed the first six contests of this season with a concussion.

Pittsburgh posted a 3-2 victory in game four on Wednesday to seize a 3-1 edge in the NHL playoff quarter-final series.

The Penguins can eliminate the Capitals for the second straight year with a win in game five on Saturday.

© 2017 AFP