Yesterday was a big day for many around the world. But the most-anticipated day on the Blue Jackets’ calendar hasn’t arrived yet.

Nathan Horton’s red “no-contact” sweater has been returned to the trainer’s storage room, meaning he’s cleared (within reason) to hit and be hit in Blue Jackets’ practices. He’s spent recent days lifting heavier weights and working on his legs and lungs with grueling skates after practice is finished.

“It’s not going to be much longer,” said Horton, who has traveled with the club for more than a month now. “I see an ending point to this. Finally.”

Horton is not expected to play on Friday when the Blue Jackets play at New Jersey. He won’t likely play on Sunday when the Jackets play host to Pittsburgh, either.

But at some point early next month, the Blue Jackets’ big offseason free-agent splurge — seven years, $37.1 million — will make his debut after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

“I don’t know when it’s going to happen,” coach Todd Richards said. “But I’ll tell you this: ‘He’s prepared. He watches our games, even though he’s not playing. He has a pretty good idea of what we want to do. There’s a level of professionalism there. You can tell he’s been somewhere (with a winning culture).”