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Walking wounded report

First up in today's walking wound report, Josh Willingham :

It could be another month or more before left fielder Josh Willingham is back on the field. Willingham, who has been on the disabled list since May 2 because of a strained lower back, traveled to Los Angeles on Sunday to see renowned orthopedic surgeon Robert Watkins, who specializes in spinal surgery.

''He's the Dr. James Andrews of backs,'' said Willingham, who had a magnetic resonance imaging test Monday. ``He told me it was a herniated disk, which is the same problem I have had [since last year].

``But I felt better seeing him. He has a core program of measuring strength, and I am at Level 1. I won't resume baseball activity until I reach Level 5 of his core program.''

Willingham said Watkins ''did not rule out surgery'' but said that option would be a last resort.

I have no idea what Level 1 and Level 5 mean.  But the way I understand it, he is out for at least another 10 days or it could be up to 3 weeks, or maybe more.  I really should have paid attention in medical school.  (For those of you who are new to the site, I never went to medical school.)  But I bet that surgery on his back will happen sometime in the future.  Maybe not this year, but sometime.  Where is Fishfan24 when you need him?

Next up is Josh Johnson :

Johnson, who underwent season-ending Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow on Aug. 3, 2007, threw a 51-pitch simulated game on Monday.

Tommy John surgery usually consists of a 12- to 18-month recovery period. Johnson had the surgery less than 10 months ago.

Gonzalez is going to refrain from asking Johnson about his status.

"He was good, but I think you have to follow the protocol with doctors in that situation," said Gonzalez, who also drove to Jupiter to meet with newly acquired outfielder Jacque Jones. "I think it may help him that his mechanics are so good, but I think you have to follow the program.

I would be surprised to see Johnson contribute to the Marlins in any meaningful way this season.  It is possible that will he rejoin the team with the September call-ups, after an extended minor league rehab, just to get him back up to speed in the majors.

But I don't think it will be anymore than that this season.

And that concludes today's walking wounded report.