Sidney Crosby had four points in three games after his return from a sprained ankle. ((Mike Carlson/Associated Press))

Just when he appeared to be back to his old self, Sidney Crosby has hit a snag.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star will miss Wednesday night's home game against the Buffalo Sabres after experiencing pain in his right ankle during his team's morning skate.

Crosby had only recently returned from a 21-game absence because of a sprain in the same ankle. Since his return, he has collected four points in three games, including a two-goal performance in Sunday's 4-2 win in Washington.

"That game itself was pretty physical," Crosby said. "It's probably a combination of that and it's been sore the past couple of days."

Pittsburgh — fourth in the Eastern Conference with 85 points, and one point behind New Jersey for the Atlantic Division lead — has three days off after Wednesday, and coach Michel Therrien said it made sense for Crosby to sit out and rest up during the break.

The Penguins next play Sunday at home against Philadelphia. When asked if he hopes to be in that game, Crosby said, "That's what I'm planning on."

Crosby, last season's NHL MVP, has 22 goals and 45 assists for 67 points in 49 games.

Fellow forward Maxime Talbot will also sit out Wednesday's game after aggravating the high ankle sprain he suffered earlier this season.

The same injury caused starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to miss almost three months before he returned on Feb. 28.

With files from the Associated Press