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Johnson likely out long-term after pulling muscle

Apr 29, 2015, 12:40 AM EST

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ATLANTA — Veteran outfielder Reed Johnson is likely to miss significant time after pulling a muscle in his foot late during the Nationals’ dramatic, 13-12 victory over the Braves on Tuesday night.

Johnson hurt himself while legging out a key RBI double in the top of the seventh, pulling up lame as he reached second base. Manager Matt Williams and a Nationals trainer came out to examine him, and though Johnson initially remained in the game, he realized he couldn’t stay in after having to dive back to the bag on a subsequent pickoff attempt.

“He felt it when he came out of the box,” Williams said. “He heard a big pop. And when he got out to second, it was starting to subside and then he had to dive back into second base again and he couldn’t go any farther.”

Williams described the injury as a pulled muscle in Johnson’s foot and lower leg.

“It acts like plantar fascia, but it’s actually a muscle that kind of goes underneath your foot and up the side of your leg,” the manager said.

Asked if this would likely be a long-term injury, Williams replied: “It may be. It’s not like it’s a little strain. He was really having trouble moving. So we’ll have to see how it is tomorrow and we’ll make a decision on it.”

Assuming Johnson is placed on the disabled list, the Nationals will need to summon another outfielder to take his roster spot. Matt den Dekker would be the most likely choice, but the club would be allowed to recall Michael Taylor even though the top-rated prospect was optioned fewer than 10 days ago. MLB rules allow a recently demoted player to be recalled if he replaces an injured teammate.

Signed to a minor-league contract after he was released by the Marlins during the final week of spring training, Johnson made the Nationals’ Opening Day roster. The 38-year-old was 4-for-18 with Tuesday night’s double and two RBI.

  1. coop202 - Apr 29, 2015 at 1:17 AM

    Taylor please! Have him spell worth 2 days a week and maybe he’ll Learn not to strike out

    • sec105rowwseat28 - Apr 29, 2015 at 8:36 AM

      So you want Taylor to spell Jayson’s name wrong twice a week? That’s not going to win any spelling bee, much less help the on-field performance of this team.

      • coop202 - Apr 29, 2015 at 9:48 AM

        Defensively less of a liability than in center, offensively Werth is a liability at the moment and needs to be spelled enough over the season for the playoffs anyways. Nice seats btw, thanks for the friendly sarcasm.

  2. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 29, 2015 at 6:26 AM

    Johnson has been money for us… speedy recovery…

    MAT may be back…

  3. virginiascopist - Apr 29, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Really torn on this one. I would love to have Taylor back, but not at the expense of him getting regular at bats and playing time. I do think, however, that he can learn a lot from watching Span and that will help him/us in the future. Flip a coin. If not Taylor, then I guess den Dekker (or maybe Gwynn).

    Get well soon, Reed.

    • TimDz - Apr 29, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      Won’t be Gwynn…he’d need to be placed on the 40 man roster…

      • virginiascopist - Apr 29, 2015 at 7:42 AM

        Good point, but can’t they clear a spot by putting Stammen on the 60-day DL? Or have they already done that?

  4. rlndtln - Apr 29, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    What happens when Rendon comes back.Do you keep Uggla or Den/decker/MAT.

    • RPrecupjr - Apr 29, 2015 at 9:16 AM

      Unfortunately, given Rendon’s current streak of scratches, I’m not sure I see him back before June, especially if this latest “side tightness” turns into an oblique injury…..and as we are all aware, what starts as “a game or two” quickly becomes a month around here.

      In other news, can the Uggla bashing stop now? Last night was what I had dreamed of since he was signed….stick it to Atlanta, IN Atlanta, while they are paying him. I haven’t looked at the game post from last night and am not likely to, especially given how the game started, so this may have already been covered.

      • therealjohnc - Apr 29, 2015 at 9:49 AM

        and as we are all aware, what starts as “a game or two” quickly becomes a month around here.

        Well, they were certainly overly optimistic initially on Rendon. But they pretty much nailed Werth’s return exactly, and were actually overly pessimistic on Span’s return.

        But we really, really remember when they are overly optimistic 🙂

  5. unkyd59 - Apr 29, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    Greetings, Mr. den Dekker! Let’s see what ya got….

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