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Bruins' Horton cleared for contact

Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 3:49 PM / News

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Boston Bruins announced Tuesday that right wing Nathan Horton, out since January with a concussion, has been cleared for contact by the team's medical staff and is expected to be fully healthy by the start of training camp.

It was a positive day on all fronts for the Bruins, who also announced good health reports on two other players.

Defenseman Adam McQuaid, who played just once after suffering a concussion March 29, also has been cleared for contact. Forward Tyler Seguin, who had surgery to repair a tendon in his right hand, also is progressing on schedule in his recovery.

"Horton has been cleared for contact and our medical staff says he'll be ready to go when we start playing," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said during a news conference to announce coach Claude Julien's contract extension. "McQuaid has already been fully cleared medically. Seguin is coming along according to schedule if not even ahead of that."

Getting a healthy Horton back would be as good as acquiring another top-six forward for the Bruins. Horton had 32 points in 46 games last season, but he didn't play after suffering a hard hit by the Flyers' Tom Sestito late in the second period of a Jan. 22 game in Philadelphia.

It was Horton's second concussion in six months. In Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final on June 6, 2011, Horton was rocked by the Canucks' Aaron Rome and didn't return until the start of the 2011-12 season.

Horton's absence hit the Bruins hard offensively, as they dipped from 3.54 goals per game in 46 games prior to Horton's injury, to 2.69 goals per game after he was hurt. Their record reflected his loss: 31-13-2 prior to Horton's injury, 18-16-2 after it.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild