WASHINGTON (AP) -Nick Johnson's comeback is going to take a little longer than he expected in spring training.
The Washington first baseman said in the spring that he would complete his rehabilitation from a broken right leg and rejoin the Nationals by June 1. With that self-imposed deadline looming later this week, Johnson backed off before Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
``Hopefully this year,'' said Johnson, who was injured when he collided with right fielder Austin Kearns on Sept. 23 at Shea Stadium. ``When? I don't know. We'll see how this hip goes.''
Johnson continues to field grounders and take soft-toss batting practice long before his teammates take the field for pregame stretch. At this point, he's happy that the pain in his hip associated with his recovery from the fracture is gradually dissipating.
Now that he's embraced a somewhat longer recovery period, Johnson is focusing on improving his range of motion and increasing his physical activities. He's also avoiding predicting when he'll return.
``I'm not going to throw (dates) out there,'' he said. ``I don't know. I stay away from that. I'm just worried about getting stronger.''
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