Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Nathan Horton is out indefinitely with an injured back, The Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told the newspaper Wednesday he was unsure if Horton would be able to play in the opener Oct. 9 at the Buffalo Sabres, and he did not expect the injury to be long-term.
On Thursday, the Dispatch reported, "It's doubtful [Horton will] take part in training camp and he may miss the early stages of the regular season."
Horton, 29, signed a seven-year, $37.1 million contract in July 2013. He had four goals and 14 assists last season, when he was limited to 35 games because of shoulder and abdominal injuries.
Abdominal surgery in April kept him out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"He signed a big contract -- I signed almost the same contract [this summer] -- and you feel like you have a lot to prove," Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky told reporter Aaron Portzline. "We certainly feel for him. We hope he gets better. But we certainly want him to take his time. Because a 100 percent Nathan Horton for 60 or 70 games -- or however long it’s going to be -- is better than a 70 percent guy for 82 games. Hopefully he can have a speedy recovery."