Johnson on the hill

Jim Johnson got back on the mound Thursday for the first time since being felled by a case of right shoulder impingement earlier in the month. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz said that Johnson looked rusty but felt good, giving him a chance to be ready for Opening Day.

“We’ve got to do what’s right, but a lot of it is going to depend on how he feels,” said Kranitz. “Worst-case scenario, we just won’t have him for the first part of the season. But he’s confident. He said he feels fine. He’s big and strong. The way it looks is that I can probably work him into at least three games before we have to make a decision.”

If all goes well, Johnson will throw another side session and also face some hitters on Saturday. After that, he’ll get a day or two off and then return to game action.

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