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BOSTON (CBS) - In a bit of news many expected, Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton will miss the 2012 NHL Playoffs with lingering concussion symptoms.
“We felt it just wasn’t in the long-term interest of Nathan to have the specter hanging over him of trying to come back during this postseason,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday morning. “He’s made one step forward and two steps back, and we made the determination upon consultation with our doctors, with Nathan, it would be prudent to shut him down for the playoffs.”
Horton, who has been out since suffering his second concussion in seven months in January, recently started skating with the team. But Chiarelli said that even after days of positive progress, post-concussion symptoms would return to the Bruins’ winger.
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“With Nathan, sometimes it would just be a fogginess, sometimes he wouldn’t feel right, and sometimes he would have a big headache,” said Chiarelli. “But it was always after three, four, five days of positive progress.”
“Going into two weeks ago, if you were to ask me about him playing in this playoffs, I would have said there was a chance,” said Chiarelli. “Then he had a couple of setbacks, and you have to take a step back and look at the whole thing. That’s what we did.”
Chiarelli did say he expects Horton to be good to go for the start of next season.
“Talking to Nathan over the course of the last couple of weeks he doesn’t look bad; he looks good actually,” said Chiarelli. “But he gets these bouts, the fogginess, and he doesn’t feel right. You have to be very careful.”
The Bruins will miss Horton’s offensive attack, as the forward netted 17 goals in 46 games before the injury. In his absence, Boston has gone with a first-line of Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley centered by David Krejci.
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Horton missed the final four games of the Bruins Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks last season after suffering a concussion on an Aaron Rome hit in Game 3.
The Bruins open the playoffs Thursday night at the TD Garden against the Washington Capitals.
Tune in to the Boston Bruins on 98.5 The Sports Hub as they defend their championship in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. Pregame coverage begins 30 minutes prior to every game.