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Nathan Horton Cleared For Contact, Expected To Be Ready For 2012 Season

BOSTON (CBS) -- The long road back from concussions is different for each individual player, but fortunately for Nathan Horton, his path appears to be headed back to the ice.

The 27-year-old Bruins winger has been cleared for contact and is expected to be ready to participate fully in Bruins training camp for the upcoming season. Team president Cam Neely announced the news on Felger & Massarotti on Monday afternoon, and general manager Peter Chiarelli reiterated the news on Tuesday at the news conference announcing coach Claude Julien's extension.

"By all accounts from our medical staff, [Horton] will be ready play when it comes time to play," Chiarelli said.

Horton was limited to just 46 games last year. He was knocked out of the Stanley Cup Final last June by a devastating hit from Aaron Rome which resulted in a series-long suspension for the Canucks defenseman. Horton did start the season with the Bruins but suffered another concussion on Jan. 22 when he was hit in the head by Flyers forward Tom Sestito.

In 2010-11, his first full season in Boston, Horton scored 26 goals and added 27 assists in the regular season before scoring eight goals with nine assists and a plus-11 rating in 21 playoff games. That stretch included the overtime game-winner in Game 7 against Montreal in the first round as well as the lone goal in the B's 1-0 victory over the Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Last year, in his 46 games, he scored 17 goals and added 15 assists.

Chiarelli also said that defenseman Adam McQuaid has also been cleared for contact after suffering his own concussion late in the season.

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