Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Sidney Crosby, who underwent wrist surgery in September, will not play in the Pittsburgh Penguins first game of the season against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in Tampa, Fla., the eight-time All-Star said.
The Lightning host the Penguins at 7:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Amalie Arena.
The Penguins announced Saturday that Crosby returned to practice with teammates for the first time since his Sept. 8 surgery on his left wrist.
"I won't be in unfortunately," Crosby told ESPN. "We're getting better, getting closer. Hopefully soon."
Crosby, 34, totaled 24 goals and 38 assists in 55 games last season, missing just one game during the COVID-19 shortened 2020-21 season.
Crosby was given an initial timetable of six weeks to return to the ice, which would keep him out until Oct. 20. He said he "hopes" to make his regular-season debut in a "week or two."
"He just has that influence on the group, and everybody's excited that he's getting closer. We're obviously thrilled that he's back with our team."
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin is expected to miss the first two months of the NHL season to recover from knee surgery. The Penguins announced Tuesday that Malkin was placed on long-term injured reserve.
The Penguins also added center Zach Aston-Reese to the NHL's COVID protocol list.
Penguins forward Jake Guentzel also is out for the season opener due to a positive COVID-19 test result.
Crosby signed a 12-year, $104.4 million contract extension with the Penguins in 2012. Malkin, a three-time All-Star, is in the final season of his eight-year, $76 million contract.
The Penguins face the Florida Panthers on Thursday in Sunrise, Fla. They host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in Pittsburgh.