One of the biggest fantasy questions lingering going into the 2012 season is whether or not Sidney Crosby will be ready to go for the Penguins on opening night. With training camps opening across the league, including Pittsburgh, on Friday, there will be some close monitoring of the superstar's status going into the year, but patience will have to be exercised on a regular basis, as baby steps and secrecy will be the name of the game from the Penguins' training staff.
Crosby's progress has been well-documented this Summer, keeping track of his workout schedules, questions about any setbacks and now lacing up the skates in camp for the first official practices.
The word out of camp on Saturday is that Crosby has exerted himself at 100%, a big step towards getting out of his post-concussion symptoms (ie. headaches and nausea), and they will wait to see if there are any setbacks after today's practice. The team will likely wait for a solid number of symptom-free practices before they will allow him to return to full-contact practices. Once full-contact has resumed, likely some more looks at his post-practice health will be done to determine whether or not he'll be ready to resume games again.
With the regular season still a few weeks away, the team has plenty of time to exercise all their tests, including a possible pre-season game for their captain and an opening night decision.
Unfortunately, for poolies, including my own, pool drafts generally go well before the season starts, so there will be a lot of gambling as to whether or not Crosby will be ready to go and whether or not you should take him at all in your draft. I fully expect someone in my pool draft to take Crosby in the 1st round, possibly 1st overall, but it won't be me. How high are you willing to take Crosby at in your pool draft?