Nathan Horton signed a seven-year, $37.1-million US contract with the Blue Jackets on July 5. (Fred Squillante/Columbus Dispatch/Associated Press)

Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Nathan Horton has had surgery for an abdominal injury and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.

The team announced the news before Friday night's game against Tampa Bay.

Horton has five goals and 19 points in 36 games this season. A prized off-season free agent signing for the playoff-bound Blue Jackets, Horton underwent shoulder surgery last summer, which caused him to miss the first 40 games this season.

Also, Columbus reassigned defenceman Tim Erixon to Springfield of the AHL.