Skip to content

Horton cleared for contact, rebuilding strength

Dec 21, 2013, 12:17 PM EDT

Nathan Horton Getty Images

Nathan Horton isn’t ready to say when he’ll make his Columbus Blue Jackets debut or even call himself close to returning, but he’s made significant progress recently in his efforts to return from off-season shoulder surgery.

Horton was a full participant in Friday’s practice and no longer needs to wear a no-contact jersey, although his teammates weren’t eager to test his injury.

“It wasn’t physical but it was more than I had done,” Horton told the team’s website. “It’s still a little sore but it wasn’t sore before I went on the ice, but that will go away.

“The pain’s probably not going to go away for a long time, but as long as I get my strength and I’m comfortable with hitting people and getting hit, I’ll be fine.”

To that end, he’ll continue to practice regularly until his conditioning is where it needs to be.

When he does return, it will naturally be a big boost to the Blue Jackets. They inked him to a seven-year, $37.1 million contract over the summer in the hopes that he could be an offensive leader and the missing piece in their quest for an elusive postseason berth.

The Blue Jackets have managed to hold their own this season despite already suffering a number of major injuries, but they are behind the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, and Philadelphia Flyers in the fight for the Metropolitan Division’s third and — given the overall weakness of the division — likely final playoff seed.

Latest Posts
  1. Emery (lower body) might start tonight

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery deflects the puck over his head during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) AP

    Rob Zepp was starting to look like a possibility to be the team’s backup.

  2. Risk Factors: Boston Bruins edition

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Zdeno Chara AP

    Zdeno Chara’s advancing age is one reason for Bruins fans to worry.

  3. Cammalleri-Zajac-Jagr line not ready for marriage

    Sep 30, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT

    Jaromir Jagr AP

    Devils coach Pete DeBoer says they’re still dating.

  4. Capuano continues auditions for Tavares line

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:18 PM EDT

    Cory Conacher Getty Images

    Cory Conacher is probably up next.

  5. Giroux (lower body) a ‘possibility’ Tuesday

    Sep 29, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four Getty Images

    He’s running out of opportunities to get into an exhibition contest.

  6. Red Wings tryout Rome suffers lower-body injury

    Sep 29, 2014, 8:29 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    He won’t return to Monday’s game.

  7. Hello Johansen? Boone Jenner out with broken hand

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:54 PM EDT

    Boone Jenner #38 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 5, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders 3-2 in the shootout.
(October 4, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    This has been a rough preseason for Columbus.

  8. Hodgson feels ‘really comfortable’ at left wing

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Cody Hodgson Getty Images

    Will he be able to build off of his 2013-14 campaign though?

  9. Mason adjusting to new Wells Fargo lights

    Sep 29, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT

    Steve Mason, Mike Cammalleri AP

    This is certainly the time to do that.

  10. Heatley out a week with groin injury

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Has two goals in the preseason.

  11. Gettin’ the band back together: Blues hire Gainey as Hitch’s consultant

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

    bob gainey

    If you were a member of the Dallas Stars at the turn of the century, you could get a job next!

  12. Ducks send ’14 1st-rounder Ritchie back to junior, release Yip from PTO

    Sep 29, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Prospects Nic Kerdiles and Stefan Noesen headed to AHL Norfolk.

  13. All three Canuck kids skating together tonight

    Sep 29, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Bo Horvat AP

    Bo Horvat may have the inside track over Hunter Shinkaruk and Nicklas Jensen to make Vancouver’s opening-day roster.

  14. Leafs release Tallinder from PTO

    Sep 29, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT

    Tallinder_Henrik

    Veteran blueliner suffered a separated shoulder during the preseason.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2481)
  2. R. Johansen (2202)
  3. P. Datsyuk (2006)
  4. E. Malkin (1977)
  5. D. Stepan (1912)
  1. J. Drouin (1830)
  2. F. Forsberg (1775)
  3. J. Staal (1706)
  4. T. Krug (1693)
  5. C. Giroux (1627)