(Reuters) - Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will make his second comeback of the season on Thursday against the New York Rangers after being cleared for a return to action, the National Hockey League (NHL) team said.
Crosby, sidelined by concussion-like symptoms for most of the past 14 months, has been limited to just eight games this season and was cleared for contact last week.
“I feel good and the plan is to play Thursday,” Crosby said on the team’s website after practice on Tuesday. “I got a good practice and I‘m looking forward to getting out there Thursday.”
The 24-year-old Canadian suffered the initial injury after taking hits to the head in successive games in early 2011. He missed the second half of that season and the first 20 games of the current campaign before making stirring return in November.
Crosby had 12 points in eight games but began experiencing concussion-like symptoms in early December.
He has not played since December 5 and was subsequently diagnosed with a soft-tissue neck injury that experts said could have been responsible for causing neurological symptoms similar to those of a concussion.
The NHL’s biggest draw card, Crosby has won the league’s scoring title, most valuable player award, a Stanley Cup and scored the overtime goal for Canada in the gold medal game at the 2010 Olympics.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue