Rust was placed on injured reserve on October 16 after playing in just two games. He’ll undoubtedly return to the team’s top line, which currently consists of Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter as captain Sidney Crosby remains in COVID-19 protocol.
It’s been a rocky start to the season for Pittsburgh, who have dealt with injuries to every single one of their core players this season. Evgeni Malkin has yet to play, Crosby’s played in just one game, Carter’s played only six, Kris Letang has played five, and Guentzel has missed one game out of a possible nine.
They’ve been buoyed early by a resurgent start from goaltender Tristan Jarry, who’s managed a .930 save percentage in seven games this season.
Dominik Simon, who’s averaged just 10:40 per game this season despite scoring four points in eight games, is a likely candidate to sit in the press box to make room for Rust in the lineup.
Rust returns to full health aiming to score 20 goals for the third straight season as he enters the final season of a four-year deal paying him $3.5MM per season. He’s set to earn a sharp raise on that deal, regardless of his home next season.