It’s been a long time since we’ve had some positive news about Nathan Horton. Back in October, we discussed how Horton’s degenerative back condition was far worse than previously thought and that the forward’s career was in jeopardy. Since the time of that report, information on Horton has been scarce if not nonexistent. Most hockey fans assumed the worst.
We finally have an update on Horton and fans will be pleasantly surprised to hear it’s a positive one.
Via the Columbus Dispatch, Horton has seen a little bit of progress and though his future is still in jeopardy, the progress is encouraging.
President of hockey operations John Davidson said Horton had a “little light in his eye” when they had lunch with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.
“There’s been some progress there. He is feeling a little better,” Davidson said. “I don’t know what that means in the big picture, but he’s better now than he was earlier this season. His whole attitude was different — better — than the last time we saw him.”
Coach Todd Richards chatted only briefly with Horton on Thursday, he said.
“In my heart, I’ve always believed he’s going to play again,” Richards said. “I still feel that way.”
Any improvement is an extremely positive and perhaps an unexpected sign. It’s way too early to make any conclusions and it’s always better to error on the side of caution, but this update may mean Horton’s career isn’t over quite yet.
Horton has been taking significant time to heal and it appears the time away from the rink has helped in his recovery. However, it’s not clear if a return to practice and the bumps and bruises associated with it would result in another setback.
This is definitely a “stay tuned” story. Here’s hoping he’ll be back out on the ice with his team in the near future.