Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skates

Sidney Crosby was back on the ice Monday, skating for the first time since a concussion sidelined him in January. But the Penguins' captain is still proceeding with caution.

Crosby, who has missed 29 games, skated for about 15 minutes in full gear on Monday morning at Consol Energy Center, including stickhandling and shooting drills.

"I feel good. It's really early. It's just part of progress and trying to get better," Crosby told the team's website. "I felt pretty good doing some light workouts. I was told I had the opportunity to skate. I went out there for 15 minutes to see how I felt. No real plan going forward. I felt good, so that's a good sign."

It's not known when Crosby, who was headed toward a career season with 32 goals and 66 points at the time of his injury, will return to game action. Even though he was happy to be on the ice again, Crosby warned that's no guarantee of a quick return to the Penguins' lineup -- or that there won't be additional setbacks in his recovery.

"I've been symptom-free the last few days. That doesn't mean that when I exert myself that I won't have symptoms. That could always happen. That's pretty normal when you have that," Crosby told the team website. "It's a process and we'll see how things go."

"It doesn't mean I'll be able to skate tomorrow. We'll see how everything goes," he added, according to the report. "It's one of those things that you go through each day, adjust and see how you feel depending on symptoms and things like that. We'll see. It's just nice to be able to get out there."

Crosby, who was unable to play in the All-Star Game because of his symptoms, has been out since he was hit headfirst into the boards by Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman in a Jan. 5 game. He also had absorbed a blindside hit to the head from then-Washington forward David Steckel during the Jan. 1 Winter Classic outdoors game at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.

Last weekend, the center's father and his agent both refuted a report that the Penguins' captain was considering retirement.

Crosby was even asked after practice on Monday, if he ever considered retirement through this process. His reply was a quick "no."

The Penguins, without Crosby and injured forward Evgeni Malkin (knee), have stayed afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They have 88 points, and are just three behind first-place Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.

"Yeah, it's scary for sure," Crosby said. "But thinking about it or dwelling on it isn't really going to change anything. You've got to make sure, like I said, listen to yourself and what's going on. Provide doctors and things like that the most information you can about how you feel. And trust them in what they're telling you is going to happen, and that's been the case.

"So everything has gone well that way and it's a matter of time and I'm waiting for everything to feel better. That's what you deal with with injuries and when it's your head, even more so. But it's been kind of a learning process that way."

Since the injuries to Crosby and Malkin, the Penguins added to their offense around the trading deadline. They acquired James Neal from the Dallas Stars and Alex Kovalev from the Ottawa Senators.

Pittsburgh has been to two of the last three Stanley Cup finals, but lost in the second round to Montreal last season.

Pittsburgh plays at Ottawa on Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.