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Johnson beginning Spring Training

Josh Johnson is coming along.

Right-hander Josh Johnson threw off a mound to live batters Tuesday. Johnson, who has added a slider, has increased his workload without pain.

"He is right there like you would be throwing batting practice in (the start of) spring training," pitching coach Rick Kranitz said. There is no timetable yet for rehab games.

Asked about the chance of Johnson rejoining the Marlins in a month, he replied: "A month from today sounds good to me."

The Marlins would simply be happy to get him back by July. He missed spring training because of an irritated ulnar nerve in his right elbow.

That is good news especially since the team could use his arm.   But I doubt he will be back with the club in a month, though the first of July seems reasonable assuming he doesn't have any set backs.  And with any luck, he won't.  The weird thing about nerve injuries is that they will lay dormant for a while but then remake their presence known by biting you once again.

Like I said, hopefully this won't happen.  But there are a few hurdles left to clear before he is judged healthy enough to join the rotation.  I'm not trying to be a downer, just letting you know.