Nathan Horton RW CLS 2 Months

Horton is bracing for the possibility of career-ending surgery to rectify his degenerative spinal condition, Jimmy Hascup of USA Today reports.

Horton has been bothered by his back since April, with the injury preventing him from executing simple everyday tasks such as bending over and getting in and out of vehicles. Since he's noticed little improvement over the last several months, it seems likely that Horton may have to opt for a surgery that would involve fusing three or four of his vertebrae with a titanium rod. Such a procedure would help Horton live without pain in his day-to-day life, but would force him to give up hockey for good, so as not to risk aggravating the injury. Expect Horton to hold out hope that his condition will take a turn for the better before the season comes to an end, but it's looking increasingly likely that the 29-year-old may have to call it quits a bit prematurely.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 3 Months

The Blue Jackets fear that Horton (back) will not be able to suit up in 2014-15, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Horton, who was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the regular season, has been diagnosed with a degeneration of the entire lumbar region of his spine, a serious condition that could spell the end of his career. The Blue Jackets are still viewing surgery as a last-resort option for Horton, but there's growing concern the forward may never skate for Columbus -- or any other team -- again. He'll continue to rest up for several weeks before a decision is made on his next course of action.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 4 Months

Horton (back) was placed on injured reserve Sunday, Shawn Mitchell of The Columbus Dispatch reports.

Horton is dealing with a "degenerative" back issue, and hasn't been given a timetable for return. His placement on injured reserve means he will miss at least a week, but it wouldn't be surprising if he is out longer than that.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 4 Months

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said Horton is dealing with a "degenerative" back condition, and the club remains unwilling to venture a guess on a possible timetable for his return, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports.

The back issue has prevented Horton from stepping on the ice so far during training camp, and pessimism about the winger's availability for the start of the regular season seems to be mounting. Kekalainen suggested Horton would try to remedy the degenerative condition by focusing on strengthening his core muscles, but even that process could take awhile before the pain subsides. A top-six role likely awaits for Horton when he's healthy, but because that's rarely been the case over the previous three seasons, it's probably not worthwhile for fantasy owners to pin their hopes on him.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 4 Months

Horton (back) may not participate at all in training camp, and he could be sidelined for the initial stages of the regular season, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

The Blue Jackets have apparently known for a while about Horton's back injury, but managed to keep it under wraps. Horton managed to play in just 36 games last season due to shoulder and abdominal injuries, and 2014-2015 is starting out in much the same way. Be very cautious before drafting him this year.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 4 Months

Though he's fully recovered from his abdominal and shoulder injuries, Horton will be limited in the early stages of training camp due to lingering back issues, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Horton appeared poised to enter his second training camp with the Blue Jackets at full health, but it didn't take long for him to succumb to another injury. While this latest ailment doesn't appear nearly as concerning as the abdominal and shoulder injuries that both required surgery over the last 14 months, it's difficult to rely on Horton staying upright over the course of a full season. If he's somehow able to dispatch the myriad health concerns that have plagued him the last several seasons, 50-point potential exists here. For right now, however, that projection probably appears overly optimistic.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 6 Months

Horton (abdomen) has spent the offseason building up his lower- and upper-body strength and should be at full strength for training camp in September.

Horton's first season in Columbus was mostly forgettable, as his recovery from shoulder surgery last summer pushed back his debut to Jan. 2, only for the forward to require season-ending abdominal surgery three months later. Though durability has been an issue for Horton the last few seasons, the Blue Jackets are still optimistic he can stay healthy and reemerge as a 20-goal scorer for the team during the upcoming season. Horton is expected to open the 2014-15 campaign on a line with up-and-coming forwards Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner, which could allow him to bring plenty of upside as a late-round target in fantasy drafts.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 7 Months

Columbus Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline seems optimistic about Nathan Horton being ready for Columbus Blue Jackets training camp.

He missed a big chunk of the 2013-14 season while recovering from offseason surgery and then had more issues once he was able to play. His 14 points in 35 games might be disappointing, yet it's probably most accurate to give him an "Incomplete" grade for this past season.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 10 Months

Nathan Horton has undergone abdominal surgery.

Horton will miss the next six weeks as a result, which kills his chances of helping the Blue Jackets in their playoff run unless they go deep. He has four goals and 14 assists in 35 games this season. Injuries have been a problem all season for Horton, which is part of the reason why his 2013-14 numbers are underwhelming. However, he had success in the playoffs during his days with Boston and Columbus could have certainly used his services.

Nathan Horton RW CLS 10 Months

Nathan Horton (lower body) didn't travel with the Blue Jackets to Dallas.

Just in case you needed further confirmation that Horton won't be in the lineup Wednesday night. This game is a continuation of the one postponed when Rich Peverley had a cardiac event. Horton scored a goal before that happened, which will still count on Wednesday, which means that he will be credited with a goal in a game he didn't participate in.