Rust (lower body) ditched the non-contact sweater for Friday's practice session and could return during Pittsburgh's upcoming back-to-back, Sam Kasan of Pens Inside Scoop reports.

Rust appears to be trending in the right direction and could be an option for coach Mike Sullivan in either Saturday or Sunday's clash with the Blues and Flyers, respectively. The winger was filling a top-six role alongside Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel prior to getting hurt, but the emergence of Teddy Blueger could relegate Rust to a bottom-six assignment to start.

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