- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 15, 2002

CLEVELAND When Jason Johnson first fractured his right middle finger during a routine workout April25, the Baltimore Orioles right-hander targeted May 10 for his projected return.
That date has long since passed, though, and it appears that Johnson's activation off the 15-day disabled list is still a matter of weeks away, not days.
"I wanted to get back as early as I could, but it's not my call," Johnson said before last night's game against the Cleveland Indians. "I've got to get my arm in shape before I can get out on a mound."
Johnson, who slammed his finger into the ground on the follow-through of a bullpen "shadow" drill, has played long toss four times since having his splint removed. He backed up to 160 feet yesterday but has yet to pitch off a mound.
Though there have been encouraging signs he no longer feels pain when gripping the ball Johnson almost surely will need to make one or two rehab starts before rejoining the Baltimore rotation.
"I don't know that there's any timeline right now for him to start going out on a rehab," manager Mike Hargrove said. "I've learned with five kids never to say 'definite' about anything, but it's about as definite as it can be without me sitting down [to talk to] Jason."

More injury updates
David Segui was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game (and eighth in the Orioles' last 10) with his lingering left wrist injury, though Hargrove continues to classify his status as "day-to-day."
Segui maintains he has had a torn tendon in his wrist for nearly three weeks, but the team says it's only a bruised tendon with torn cartilage and is not viewing the DL as an immediate option.
Meanwhile, right-hander Rodrigo Lopez appears to have recovered from the blister that plagued him during his last start at Tampa Bay and has been given the green light to start tonight at Cleveland.
Lopez is seeking to become the first pitcher in franchise history to go 6-0 in his rookie season.

Home again
With the Orioles making their lone visit to Jacobs Field this season, Hargrove was a popular man yesterday. The former Indians player, coach and manager still has numerous friends in Cleveland, and he lives in suburban Richfield during the offseason.
But having managed the Orioles for three seasons now, the visitors dugout at Jacobs Field is beginning to feel somewhat normal for the longtime Indian.
"As normal probably as it ever will be," Hargrove said. "I spent so much time in the Indians organization as a player, manager and coach that the roots will always be there. But I enjoy it in Baltimore, I like it in Baltimore, I'm glad that I'm an Oriole. And I don't have any regrets in that regard. It's nice to come home, just to see people that I haven't seen in three or four months."


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