WILMINGTON, Mass. It can be nothing but a good sign that Bruins power forward Nathan Horton was spotted wearing his trademark gleaming grin while walking out of the Bs dressing room following Thursdays morning skate.
He looked happy, relatively healthy and upbeat while saying hello as he walked out of the TD Garden after checking in with the teams medical staff.
But it hasnt changed Hortons prognosis while attempting to recover from a mild concussion suffered during a Jan. 22 win over the Flyers in Philly. Horton has now missed 16 games and close to six weeks of the regular season after bearing the brunt of a Tom Sestito blindside hit, and is still far away from a return to the ice.
Sestito was given no penalty or supplemental discipline on a play thats knocked one of the Bs best forwards out of the lineup with his second concussion within an eight-month span.
A source close to Horton indicated on Thursday that there is still a ways to go before the Bs right wing will be cleared for skating, practicing or playing and hes out indefinitely.
The Bruins acquired Brian Rolston at the deadline as needed forward depth with both Horton and Rich Peverley out of the lineup for the majority of the regular season, but theyve struggled mightily with five shutout losses among the 16 games without Horton.
It may be that Horton and the Bruins have determined to sit Horton out until closer to the end of the season to give him the best possible chance for a healthy run during the playoffs, and multiple sources have indicated that the right wing will definitely be returning at some point this year.
So currently Marc Savard, Horton and Johnny Boychuk are all missing action with the after-effects of head injuries, and only Boychuk appears on the verge of returning to the Boston lineup.