The Washington Times - March 21, 2013, 06:08PM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Nationals closer Rafael Soriano had a root canal on Thursday afternoon in Florida to take care of potentially infected tooth, but Johnson still expects him to make his scheduled appearance on Friday in Viera.

“I’ve had a few of those and they’re not much fun,” Johnson said. “I just hope he got enough Novocaine so it didn’t hurt too bad… I’m sure he’s probably fine.”

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Soriano has made five of the eight spring appearances he’d told Johnson he’d like to have to feel ready for the season. He will pitch on back-to-back days next week. In his last appearance, Soriano allowed four runs on five hits and a walk in ⅔ of an inning.

Johnson has said repeatedly he thought it was the best he’d seen him look all spring, despite the results. 

“He threw great last time out and got racked,” Johnson said. “But he’ll be fine. He knows what he needs to do.”