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MRI on wrist is negative, but Yanks' Johnson still hurting

Posted: Friday February 21, 2003 4:36 PM
Updated: Saturday February 22, 2003 12:30 AM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- New York Yankees designated hitter and first baseman Nick Johnson has stopped taking batting practice because of a lingering left wrist injury.

Johnson hurt the wrist last Aug. 7 while catching a line drive by Kansas City's Raul Ibanez. Johnson underwent an MRI Thursday, and the team said Friday the results were negative.

"It's a concern because it's something that's lingered," Yankees manager Joe Torre said Friday. "You don't know how quickly he can recover from this. He's shut down until we find out what the best course of action is."

Johnson, 24, hit .243 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs in 129 games last season. He was examined by a specialist Friday.

"I'm pretty concerned," Johnson said. "It doesn't feel too good."

Johnson felt pain when he resumed taking batting practice in January. After not swinging for several weeks, he started hitting again when spring training began this month.

"I came down early and hit for five, six days and felt that pain and shut it down," Johnson said. "It's range of motion, I don't have it like the other one. Let's find out the reason why."

Johnson missed the entire 2000 season after hurting his right wrist while checking his swing in a spring training game that March 10.

"It's discouraging," Johnson said.

Todd Zeile could see additional time at first base and DH should Johnson be sidelined for an extended period. Rondell White, who has likely lost his left field job to Hideki Matsui, might also be a candidate to fill the designated hitter role.

"It's too bad," Torre said. "This young kid has had some problems and really hasn't had a chance to get on track. He has a great deal of potential. He's a good kid and wants it badly."


 
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