Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been cleared to make his long-awaited return to the National Hockey League Monday.

The Penguins said Sunday that Crosby had been selected in the lineup to face the New York Islanders, marking his first appearance since January 5.

The 24-year-old, the league's biggest drawing card, has not played since absorbing two hits to the head in successive games within a week and experiencing post-concussion symptoms.

He was cleared last month to resume full contact after struggling with headaches all year but his return to competition had continued to be delayed.