GM optimistic of Sidney Crosby return

OTTAWA -- After visiting doctors in Atlanta and Los Angeles, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has returned to Pittsburgh.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero said Saturday that his star forward will continue skating and working out, as he has for the past week.

"Hopefully we'll see next week as to where he is and we'll get the reports from California and compare notes to what's been done so far," Shero said following the Board of Governors meeting. "We want to continue to look to see how we can get this under control and manageable so he can return to play."

Crosby hasn't played since Dec. 5 after concussion-like symptoms returned, and Shero stressed that Crosby won't be back in the lineup until those symptoms are 100 percent under control.

But he has seen enough progress that he remains hopeful Crosby will be back sometime this season.

"Let's just see what happens this week once we get some more information from his trip to California," Shero said. "I'm optimistic he's going to play."

Crosby was most recently in Los Angeles working with Dr. Robert S. Bray, a neurological spine surgeon. In Atlanta, Crosby worked with Dr. Ted Carrick, a specialist in chiropractic neurology, where they focused on motion and balance.

Craig Custance is a senior NHL writer for ESPN The Magazine.