BOSTON (CBS) – As the Boston Bruins prepare for the lockout shortened  2013 campaign, no one is more excited than forward Nathan Horton.

It’s been nearly a year since a second concussion in a seven-month span ended his 2012 season, but Horton said he was ready to go had this season started on time.

Of course, it didn’t though, and Horton had a few extra months to get ready. On Thursday, he joined his teammates on the ice for the first time since suffering that concussion last January, and said he is back to normal as the season approaches.

“I feel great. I’ve had a lot of time to work out and get back to normal,” Horton said from Wilmington. “It’s obviously been tough for everyone this year. It’s not the way anybody wanted this year to be, but I feel great and better than I have in a long time.”

Horton On His Recovery: 

“The truth is, I really haven’t even thought about it. I’m not worried about my head,” he said. “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.”

Horton said he started feeling better at the end of the last season, and has been symptom-free since the summer.

“All summer I never had any issues with all my running and biking and skating. I never had a setback,” he said. “I feel great and I’m pretty happy about that. It’s a tough thing to go through and it’s in the past now. I’m looking forward to being back and being around the guys again and having some fun.”

Read: Jacobs ‘Truly Sorry” For Lockout

Horton remained home in Florida during the lockout, opting not to head overseas like many of his teammates. It’s been almost a year since he played in a competitive game, but doesn’t think it will take him 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.”

Tune in to every Bruins game of the 2013 season on 98.5 The Sports Hub! Pregame coverage begins 30 minutes before game time, with full post game coverage following each game.

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