You would think Sidney Crosby might want to ease his way back into the NHL.
But hockey's greatest star will run the gauntlet to begin his latest comeback.
Crosby rejoins the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, just in time for three games in four days against the Rangers, Devils, and Flyers.
The excitement of his return will be tempered by high anxiety.
If you listen closely, you might hear fans the world over catching their breath every time Crosby falls down or collides with another player.
There's little doubt that a healthy Crosby he can regain his status as the NHL's dominant force.
The question is where this week's comeback fits into a long, miserable story that began on January 1, 2011.
Is this the final the chapter in Crosby's concussion history?
Or just a brief moment of hope in a problem that will never go away?
(Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)