Nathan Horton caused a stir of excitement when he was skating on his own earlier in the week, but on Sunday Peter Chiarelli termed the winger a long shot to participate in this years playoffs.
During a conference call with reporters, Chiarelli said that Horton would be at least a couple of weeks away if he was cleared by the teams medical staff, and that hasnt happened quite yet. The Bruins have proven over the last three weeks that they can survive and even thrive as a team with their top line right winger on the shelf, and it appears thats what theyll have to do this postseason.
Certainly if he were to be cleared at some point, hed need at least a couple weeks to get back so hes quite far off right now, said Chiarelli. I know hes skating, but hes had little bouts here and there with post-concussion symptoms. So its a long shot. Im not going to rule him out yet, but its a long shot.
Horton missed the final 36 games of the season with a mild concussion suffered on Jan. 22 against the Philadelphia Flyers, and suffered a setback in February when he attempted to return to the Bruins fold.
Horton would be in danger of suffering his third concussion in less than a year if he did return to the postseason for the Bruins. Thats a considerable concern given that his post-concussion symptoms have lingered over the last three months, and seem to crop up when he ramps up the intensity of his workouts.
Thats the bad news.
The good news is that Horton is smiling and looks good physically, and has reached the point where he can go out for a 40-minute twirl on the ice by himself while working out at a low intensity level.
But thats far from behind ready for playoff hockey.