(The Sports Xchange) - The career of Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Nathan Horton may be in jeopardy after he was diagnosed with degeneration of the entire lumbar region of his spine, The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.
Horton, 29, has not played in any games this season as a result of back issues, and played in only 35 games last season.
According to the Dispatch report, surgery has not been scheduled yet and is considered a last resort.
"He's going to rest it and see if it responds," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told the newspaper.
Horton has 202 goals and 218 assists in 626 games in his NHL career with the Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and Columbus. He had eight goals and nine assists during the 2011 playoffs, when he helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup.
Horton signed a seven-year, $37.1 million free-agent contract with the Blue Jackets in the summer of 2013.The Blue Jackets also are without forwards Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal surgery) and Boone Jenner (broken hand).
(Editing by Ben Everill)