The hottest team in hockey is getting its best player back.

Sidney Crosby will return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup on Thursday night when the Pens take on the New York Rangers, the club announced Tuesday. It will be Crosby's first game action since Dec. 5 against the Bruins. He was placed on injured reserve two days later with concussion-like symptoms. 

Crosby was initially hurt on Jan. 1 of last season when an awkward hit against Washington in the Winter Classic started the issues. The All-Star forward took another big hit a few nights later against Tampa Bay that ended his season. 

He didn't return until Nov. 21 of this season when he poured in four points against the Islanders, but Crosby would only play in seven more games after that after suffering another blow and further complications on Dec. 5.

The Penguins are making a strong push to overtake the Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference on the heels of a nine-game winning streak. Pittsburgh trails New York by just four points in the East entering Tuesday night.