You probably already know this but Josh Johnson isn't going to be with the club for the first two months of the season, at least.
A nerve specialist examined Johnson for 45 minutes Monday. Previous MRI exams and bone scans ruled out any stress fractures or ligament damage. The pain is on the inside of Johnson's right arm just above the elbow.
It can only be a good thing that there is no structural damage. But there is something that concerns me about him being ready to pitch by June 1.
As a rookie in 2006, the right-hander was 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA. His season was cut short after a Sept. 12 start in which he re-entered the game after an 82-minute rain delay. He experienced forearm tightness that night, and he hasn't thrown off a mound since.
Now granted, he did throw off flat ground during the off-season but if the nerve didn't heal during that length of time - why would it do so within a month? Which is the amount of time it will need heal in order for him to meet the two month time table to rejoin the rotation.
Possibly, the nerve specialist suggested some therapeutic method that will speed up the healing the process. But from my understanding, nerves heal themselves and there isn't much one can do but give it time.
All of that said, if he rejoins the rotation within two months - I will be very surprised. If he does and he is good to go, it will be a very happy surprise.