Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Nathan Horton will make his long-awaited Blue Jackets debut when Columbus takes on the Phoenix Coyotes later Thursday, and two of his teammates will also return to the lineup.
Horton, along with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and defenseman Dalton Prout, were activated from injured reserve.
The Jackets made the biggest splash in the early stages of free agency back in July, agreeing to terms with unrestricted free-agent Horton on a seven-year contract.
Shortly after the signing, Horton had to undergo surgery his left shoulder, which was injured during the Boston Bruins' unsuccessful Stanley Cup bid, a procedure whose recovery time was 4-to-6 months.
Horton, who spent the last three seasons with the Bruins, posted 13 goals and 22 points in 43 regular-season games, then contributed 19 points (7G, 12A) in 22 playoff appearances this past season.
The 28-year-old Ontario native has collected 198 goals and 402 points in 591 games along with a plus-57 rating with the Panthers and Bruins.
Bobrovsky has been out since Dec. 4 with a strained groin. Prior to the setback, the Russian backstop went 10-11-2 with a 2.72 goals-against average and one shutout.
Prout has been sidelined the last six games with an upper-body injury.
To make room on the roster, Columbus assigned goaltender Mike McKenna, forward Jonathan Marchessault and defenseman Tim Erixon to Springfield of the American Hockey League.