Jackets’ Horton (shoulder) to undergo surgery, out 4-6 months

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When the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Nathan Horton to a seven-year, $37.1 million deal on Friday, they did it knowing the rugged power forward would need to undergo shoulder surgery, a procedure that would put him out for a while.

Today, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports Horton will have surgery next week — in Boston, day not yet determined — and be out four to six months.

Horton reportedly has a chronic shoulder injury dating back to his time with Florida. He re-injured it during a fight against Jarome Iginla in April, then tweaked it again during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Chicago.

Here’s more on Horton’s recovery plans and estimated return, from the Dispatch:

Horton is going to miss at least the first two months of the season while he recovers from shoulder surgery. So the Jackets could be without him for the first 20 or 30 games, maybe more.

When Horton does return, Richards indicated that he and Marian Gaborik — a multiyear 40-goal scorer — would be on different lines, first so they could stay in their preferred spots (right wing) but also to give opponents something to fret about.

Health concerns have been a constant for Horton throughout his nine-year career. While he’s participated in 80+ games in three seasons, he’s also missed 75 games over the last five seasons due to the aforementioned shoulder issues, and a concussion suffered during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final against Vancouver.