According to a source of CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty, the chances of Nathan Horton returning to the Bruins lineup this season fall somewhere between slim to none.
There have been no extensive organizational conversations about shutting down Horton as of yet, but the B’s concussed power forward “[won’t be returning] anytime soon.”
With six games left in the regular season after Tuesday night’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning, not much time is left for Horton attempt a comeback. And it doesn’t appear he will be attempting that comeback soon.
“[They] haven’t had those discussions yet, but it’s not too difficult to figure it out,” the source said when asked if the B’s have reached a point where it makes sense to shut down Horton for the year.
If he misses the rest of the regular season, Horton will have missed 30 games with what was first termed a “mild” concussion.
Horton’s been out of the Boston lineup since Jan. 22 after taking a blindside hit to the head from Philly’s Tom Sestito, suffering his second concussion in eight months. The “mild” diagnosis and lengthy recovery only speaks to how uncertain things can be following a concussion. In mid-February, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he “expected” Horton to come back — after Horton suffered a setback upon trying to skate.
(Note: Haggerty does mention the Bruins “have been much less firm in their statements as Horton’s recovery has flattened out.”)
If Horton is unable to return, it’ll be a blow to Boston’s Stanley Cup defense. The 26-year-old was a key contributor in last year’s playoffs, scoring 17 points in 21 games, including the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.