Having been sidelined since January with a concussion, this offseason has been especially long for Horton. Originally sustaining the injury after a check from Philadelphia Flyers forward Tom Sestito, the concussion was Horton's second in less than a year (sustaining a similar injury during the Stanley Cup Final in June).
With the lockout wiping out a little less than half the season, the 27-year-old has been waiting to make his return, according to Haggerty's Twitter feed:
"Feel great...better than I have in long time. Had lot of time to work out & get back to normal. All summer I had no issues. Just excited to get going. It's nice to be around the guys. I'm not even worried about my head. Or being in contact. Or getting in a fight. I feel better than I have in a long, long time"
As of Thursday, Horton participated in informal workouts with other members of the Bruins. He was officially cleared for contact on July 24 and stated that he would have been ready for the start of the season had it begun in October.
According to initial reports, the team is now expected to open the regular season on the road against the New York Rangers on Jan. 19. The official schedule is expected to be released after the NHL Players' Association engages in a two-day vote to ratifiy the new collective bargaining agreement.
The vote is expected to begin on Friday and will conclude on Saturday.