Horton ready to play despite previous head injuries
On Thursday, Nathan Horton was finally back on the ice practicing with Boston Bruins. It’s been almost a year since he has played in an NHL game, and Horton is ready to take on the season.
Horton suffered from a severe concussion back in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. He then suffered from another head injury on Jan. 22 2012 from late hit in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. That was the last NHL game Horton has played in.
Horton told ESPN Boston that he has been good and ready to go since the season was supposed to start back in October.
“I was 100 percent back then. It seems so long ago, but with more time it’s obviously helped me, but I was fine back then, too,” Horton said.
During the lockout, Horton did not go overseas to play in order to give himself even more time to heal. He says he isn’t going to let those head injuries change his way of playing the game.
“I forgot [about the concussions]” he said. “This is the first time I’m talking about it because nobody has asked me. I haven’t thought about it. It’s way in my past. It’s not on my mind at all. The truth is, I really haven’t even thought about it. I’m not worried about my head. I’m not worried about being in contact, or getting into a fight or anything like that. It’s really in the back of my head. I’m looking to the future and haven’t thought about it. I feel better than I have in a long, long time. I’m just happy I feel good, and it’s not even on my mind.”
His teammates seemed equally happy to see him in the locker room and on the ice.
“He always has a big smile on his face and is always having a good time. He’s infectious in this locker room and he’s a great guy to have on the team,” said teammate Rich Peverley. “We’re a lot better team having him in the lineup and I think everybody knows that.”
Horton said he is hoping that it won’t take him too long to get back into the swing of things.
“Being around the guys here, I’m going to keep working hard and work extra hard because I haven’t been able to play games,” said Horton. “I think my legs will be there. Maybe I won’t carry the puck too much, just dump it in, get in and try to get at it. I feel good and I’ve been working really hard. I’ve been doing as much as I can.”
“I want to help out as best I can,” he said. “I think every year there are expectations at the beginning of the year, but coming in I feel good and I just want to get back to playing and enjoying myself. I really missed it.”