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Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton out six weeks after abdominal surgery

Nathan Horton (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) In his first year with Columbus, Nathan Horton is having the worst season of his career. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Nathan Horton will be out six weeks, possibly through the remainder of the Blue Jackets' season, after surgery to repair an abdominal injury on Friday, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced.

The 28-year-old native of Ontario signed a seven-year deal with Columbus this offseason, but he has struggled with his new team, playing in a career-low 36 games with five goals, 14 assists and a -3 rating.

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Picked third overall by the Panthers in the 2003 draft, Horton has 203 goals and 218 assists in 10 seasons -- six in Florida, three in Boston and one with Columbus.

The 6-foot-2, 229-pound forward has four career 50-point seasons and won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011.

The Blue Jackets (42-31-7, 91 points) have clinched a playoff spot but not their seed within the Eastern Conference. They are tied with the Flyers for sixth place in the East with two games to play.

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