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Penguins C Sidney Crosby ready to put concussion issues behind, reclaim spot among NHL elite

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    Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby skates during NHL hockey practice in Canonsburg, Pa., Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. It was the first official team practice of the 2013 NHL season for the Penguins. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

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    Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, right, listens as head coach Dan Bylsma, left, explains a drill during NHL hockey practice in Canonsburg, Pa., Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. It was the first official team practice of the season for the Penguins. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

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    Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, right, talks with captain Sidney Crosby during an NHL hockey practice in Canonsburg, Pa., Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. It was the first official team practice of the 2013 NHL season for the Penguins. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

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    Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, right, and James Neal (18) wait to run a drill during NHL hockey practice in Canonsburg, Pa., Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. It was the first official team practice of the season for the Penguins. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

The headaches that plagued Sidney Crosby for the better part of a year and robbed hockey's best player of nearly two seasons have disappeared.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain no longer worries about how he'll feel when he wakes up in the morning. The doubts about whether he's really healthy after dealing with concussion-like symptoms for all of 2011 and parts of 2012 are long gone.

The 25-year-old says he doesn't feel any additional pressure to be the player he was before he was injured two years ago. He added no one has higher expectations for his play than he does. Crosby signed a 12-year, $104 million extension last summer that will keep him in Pittsburgh through his prime and beyond.

Healthy and happy, Crosby is only too ready to put all of his focus on leading the Penguins back to the Stanley Cup.