- Associated Press - Monday, August 15, 2011

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby’s summer vacation is almost over. Still, there’s no telling when the Pittsburgh Penguins star will return to work.

General manager Ray Shero said Monday the former MVP is still dealing with concussion-like symptoms and it’s too soon to know if Crosby will be available when the Penguins open camp next month.

“There’s no expectation from me that he won’t be ready or he will be ready,” Shero said.

Crosby hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 5, missing the rest of the regular season and Pittsburgh’s first-round playoff loss to Tampa Bay as he slowly recovered from a concussion. He said in April he would be back for training camp, but with about a month to go before the team reports, Shero wouldn’t guarantee No. 87 will be in uniform.

Crosby, 24, has spent the summer in Canada working out on his own. Shero doesn’t anticipate Crosby returning to Pittsburgh until a week before camp begins. Crosby will undergo an evaluation before he’s cleared to participate in full-contact drills.

“He won’t be pushed to come back,” Shero said.

Though Shero acknowledged Crosby has dealt with lingering symptoms “off and on” over the summer they have not prevented him from shutting down his workout program.

“The good news is he continues to work out, he’s worked out hard during the summer,” Shero said. “We’ll see where we are come training camp.”

Coach Dan Bylsma doesn’t think the team will need to treat Crosby with kid gloves whenever he’s cleared. Bylsma doesn’t anticipate holding Crosby out of the preseason if his superstar has been OK’d by doctors.

“I don’t think when Sidney Crosby is healthy and ready to go, he’s not going to shy away from contact, nor is he going to shy away from competition,” Bylsma said.

Crosby was in the midst of an MVP-type season before the injury, amassing 66 points (32 goals, 34 assists) in 41 games. He sustained hits in consecutive games in early January before being diagnosed with the concussion.