Nearly a year after suffering a season-ending head injury, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sydney Crosby returned to the ice for the first time Monday night, receiving confirmation from team doctors that his boo-boo was all better.
"The little guy took quite a bonk to the head, but he was very brave and hardly cried," said coach Dan Bylsma, who was there to hold Crosby's hand each time he went into the scary MRI machine. "It takes a real big boy to go back out on the ice after something like that happens, even if it takes 10 months to do so."
Crosby was triumphant in his return, notching two goals and two assists, acknowledging his mom with a cheerful wave after each.
"It was a really bad owie, and at first I didn't wanna do hockey anymore because it hurt so bad, but then I saw my friend Matt [Cooke] playing hockey, and I can do more pushups than him, and my dad said that he would take me to Coldstone if I tried practicing again, and so I did, and now I'm not scared no more," announced Crosby, who spoke to the media from a blanket fort he built in the locker room.
"If I score three goals this week, I get to go see Jack and Jill!" added the 24-year-old.
Though Crosby has been practicing with the team since training camp, doctors have been exceedingly cautious in clearing his return.
"These high velocity uh-ohs, like the one Sydney suffered, can have life-altering consequences, and so there was no reason to rush his recovery," said Dr. Julian Bailes, who regularly monitored Crosby's progress.
The all-star center endured months of migraines and "fogginess" that inhibited him from enjoying every day activities such as watching Bob the Builder or spinning around like a helicopter until falling down onto a pile of couch cushions. He insists that the symptoms no longer persist, and he's ready to focus on the remainder of the season.
"I'm gonna score 400 goals this year! VROOOOOOOMMMMM!" he said.