Dec 21, 2013, 12:17 PM EDT
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.
Sep 30, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT
Rob Zepp was starting to look like a possibility to be the team’s backup.
Sep 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Zdeno Chara’s advancing age is one reason for Bruins fans to worry.
Sep 30, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT
Devils coach Pete DeBoer says they’re still dating.
Sep 30, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Tuesday’s collection of links.
Sep 29, 2014, 11:18 PM EDT
Cory Conacher is probably up next.
Sep 29, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT
He’s running out of opportunities to get into an exhibition contest.
Sep 29, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT
The timing is interesting.
Sep 29, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT
This is a critical season for him.
Sep 29, 2014, 8:29 PM EDT
He won’t return to Monday’s game.
Sep 29, 2014, 7:54 PM EDT
This has been a rough preseason for Columbus.
Sep 29, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT
Will he be able to build off of his 2013-14 campaign though?
Sep 29, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT
This is certainly the time to do that.
Sep 29, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT
Has two goals in the preseason.
Sep 29, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
Next up: Brenden Dillon.
Sep 29, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT
If you were a member of the Dallas Stars at the turn of the century, you could get a job next!
Sep 29, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT
Prospects Nic Kerdiles and Stefan Noesen headed to AHL Norfolk.
Sep 29, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT
Bo Horvat may have the inside track over Hunter Shinkaruk and Nicklas Jensen to make Vancouver’s opening-day roster.
Sep 29, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT
Veteran blueliner suffered a separated shoulder during the preseason.
Sep 29, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT
Leafs forward injured once again.
Sep 29, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT
Pair of once-touted prospects now up for grabs.
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