Johnson Is Seeking New Evaluation

By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 6, 2007

First baseman Nick Johnson traveled to New York last night for an appointment with Bryan Kelly, a hip specialist who works with the NFL's New York Giants.

Manager Manny Acta said today's meeting is to evaluate continued soreness in Johnson's right hip and that the team is not considering it a setback in Johnson's recovery. Johnson has been on the disabled list all season after breaking his right leg last September.

"He hasn't recovered yet, although his leg is healed," General Manager Jim Bowden said. "We just want to make sure we've looked at every bit of medical information possible."

According to Bowden, Johnson's leg and knee are fine, but "we just can't get over the hump with the hip."

Johnson has spent time on the 60-day disabled list three times and has done seven stints on the DL in his seven years in the big leagues.

Acta said it is normal for a player who has injured one part of his body to compensate by favoring another part, but added that Johnson "is on pace."

"It's been slower than we thought in spring training, but he's getting there," Acta said.

No timetable has been set for Johnson's return, but Bowden did not rule out the end of the season.

"It's not a setback," Bowden confirmed. "He's just not ready, and I want to know why he's not ready."

Draft Pick Agrees to Terms

The Nationals and left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft, agreed to terms yesterday. Detwiler, 21, will sign his contract before tonight's game and will receive a signing bonus of $2.15 million.

Following his introduction to the team, Detwiler will report Saturday to Viera, Fla., where he will play for the Nationals' rookie-level Gulf Coast League team.

Bowden said the Missouri State product is expected to make two or three starts in the Gulf Coast League before being promoted to Class A Potomac.

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