Pittsburgh Penguins star forward Evgeni Malkin was put out of use since sustaining a lower body injury against the Boston Bruins on March 16 that placed him on the injured reserve list.

By Wes crosby from the league’s official website, Malkin skated alone on Wednesday for the first time since his injury, but is still seen week to week. Malkin did not travel with the Penguins for their current road trip which resumes with Thursday’s game at the New York Rangers. Pittsburgh’s next home game is April 15 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

“It is enormous. It’s a big step forward, ”said Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby of Malkin’s return to the ice. “Knowing how important he is to this team and just how many guys we’ve seen coming out here lately, it’s always great to hear the guys progress. It’s the same with [Malkin].

“So that’s a big step forward, and we’ve fought pretty hard here with guys who aren’t in the roster. We have to keep doing that.”

Pittsburgh begins Wednesday’s list of games third in the NHL East standings with 50 points, four points behind the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders and four points ahead of the Boston Bruins. The top four clubs in each division earn playoff spots.