MIAMI (AP) -The return of Florida Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson has been delayed by a stiff elbow, and he'll be examined next week by specialist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.
Johnson complained of stiffness the day after a three-inning rehabilitation start Wednesday for Single-A Jupiter, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Johnson won't throw again until he's examined by Andrews, and surgery is a possibility. The Marlins already have lost one starter to a season-ending injury - right-hander Anibal Sanchez underwent surgery last month to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder.
Sanchez and Johnson, both rookies last season, were expected to help give the Marlins one of the top young rotations this year. Johnson went 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA in 2006 and finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
But he spent the first 2 1/2 months of this season on the disabled list because of an irritated ulnar nerve in his right elbow, then made only four starts before he was again sidelined by forearm stiffness.
Another second-year starter, Ricky Nolasco, has missed most of the season with right elbow inflammation.
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