Nathan Horton considering retirement at 29


Of the Blue Jackets' eight current injuries, perhaps the most significant is Nathan Horton's back injury, which is believed to threaten his career. (Concord Monitor)

Of the Blue Jackets’ eight current injuries, perhaps the most significant is Nathan Horton’s back injury, which is believed to threaten his career. (Concord Monitor)

Nathan Horton hasn’t played hockey since April due to a degenerative back injury. He is in constant physical pain and agony, not to mention the fact that this injury has seriously derailed his NHL career.

At the age of 29, Horton can’t even play with his kids, let alone play hockey. He never had any history of back injuries and his current condition came on suddenly. He was getting work done on his shoulder and his back started getting worse and worse. He tried to play through it, but it only got worse and by April his skating stride had changed which led to groin injury and surgery. After only 36 games, Horton’s season was over.

Recently, Horton spoke with the Columbus Dispatch and had this to say, “I can’t stand up like a normal person; I can’t bend over,, I can’t run. I can’t play with my kids. To get in and out of the car, I’m like a 75-year-old man.” He continued to explain his difficulties, “I can’t sleep at night. I try to lay down and my back seizes up and I can’t move, so sleeping is out. I’m like a zombie in the daytime.”


There is really no winning situation for Horton. If he wants to live without pain he could have surgery, but the procedure, which would most likely be a three or four level spinal fusion with a titanium rod, means the end of his NHL career.
“I don’t want to have surgery, because of what that means,” Horton told Aaron Portzline while his voice cracked. “I don’t want to live with this pain, but I don’t want to make that decision. It’s hard for me to say that, at 29 years old, I’m done. I mean, really? Done at 29?”

He has already won a Stanley Cup, with Boston in 2011, and has been a prominent player in the NHL. In 2013 he signed a $37 million 7 year contract with the Blue Jackets, but his first season was cut short due to his groin injury.

He’s tried other remedies such as stem cells, epidurals, acupuncture, chiropractors and massage therapy, but nothing is working. Horton and the Blue Jackets are waiting to see if the issue resolves itself, but there are no positive signs. They’ve removed his stall from the locker room and he has no equipment at the Nationwide Arena.

We at FTHN wish nothing but the best for Horton and his family.

Read Aaron Portzline’s amazing article here.

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