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Mixed Penguins injury news: good for Malkin, bad for Rust

2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30: Bryan Rust #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with Evgeni Malkin #71 after scoring a first period goal against the San Jose Sharks in Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are bruised and battered at the forward position, but Monday brought some good news ... but not all good news.

Let’s get the negative stuff out of the way first: it sounds like Bryan Rust’s upper-body injury might be worse than expected. Head coach Mike Sullivan was a little vague, but mainly because it sounds like they’re still trying to gauge the severity of the issue.

“He’s still being evaluated, so reluctant to put a time frame on it at this point,” Sullivan told the team website. “But he is longer term.”

So, Rust is out “longer term,” whatever that means.

The bright side is that the trio of Evgeni Malkin, Conor Sheary and Carl Hagelin are exhibiting varying signs of progress.

Malkin’s case is the best, as he could be back in action as soon as Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks. The team considers him a game-time decision at the moment.

Sheary and Hagelin were both able to skate on Monday, positive signs in each case. It will probably take some time for each player, but overall, those are at least steps in the right direction.