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Horton (shoulder) ‘doing very well,’ but Jackets not expecting early return

Aug 23, 2013, 4:04 PM EDT

HortonCBJ

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen gave an update on injured forward Nathan Horton on Thursday, saying the prized free agent signing had shown good signs with his shoulder surgery rehab.

That said, Kekalainen wasn’t prepared to say if an earlier return — Horton is supposed to be out until December at the earliest — was in the cards.

“He’s doing very well, recovering, doing his rehab,” Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch. “His arm’s not in a sling anymore. He was at a golf tournament (not playing) yesterday, and in good spirits. So that’s a good sign.

“We’re going to be very patient and follow instructions given by the doctors. But nothing’s changed in terms of the timeline.”

Horton, 28, signed a monster seven-year, $35.1 million deal with the Jackets on July 5, arguably the club’s biggest-ever score in free agency. The excitement around the deal was muted somewhat, though, when it was learned he had to undergo a corrective procedure to fix a shoulder issue that flared up during the Stanley Cup Final (it should be noted that Columubus and Kekalainen knew of the issue upon signing Horton.)

The Jackets had issues scoring last year — they finished 25th in the NHL in goals per game (2.40) — and are keen to get Horton, a six-time 20-goal scorer, into the lineup.

They just aren’t expecting that to happen any time soon.

If it heals 100 percent before we expect it, that would be a bonus and it would be nice,” Kekalainen said. “But we’re not going to expect that.”

  1. bildomatic - Aug 23, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Wouldn’t expect too much, he had some big goals and great postseasons for the Bruins but in his 3 years in Boston his numbers look like: 169GP 56G 51A 107pts which adds up to about .63pts/gm over and 82 game season (unlikely to play all 82 given his injury history) that adds up to just under 52 pts per year… A lotttttt of money for a streaky inconsistent injury prone concussion history player. In my opinion the biggest head scratcher of a free agent signing this offseason.

  2. 2qswing - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    that makes him our leading scorer

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