Boston’s Horton returns to ice, skates for 40 minutes

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Some news out of Boston this morning prior to Bruins practice — injured forward Nathan Horton skated for 40 minutes alongside goalie Tuukka Rask (also out with injury) and strength coach John Whitesides.

This is a big development for Horton. He’s been out of the lineup since Jan. 22 after suffering a concussion on a hit from Philly’s Tim Sestito and tried to resume skating back in early February.

The February return didn’t go well — Horton was shut down after experiencing post-concussion symptoms — and today was the first time he’s skated since the setback.

While Horton’s presence at practice was a welcome sight, Boston offered no potential timetable for his return. The skate appeared to be the first step in what figures to be a lengthy recovery, as the 26-year-old suffered two concussions in an eight-month span (the other coming in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals).

According to an earlier report from CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty, the club isn’t optimistic Horton will return to the lineup this season.