- The Washington Times - Monday, June 27, 2005

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Washington Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson will be out three to seven days with a bone bruise in his right heel, the result of an awkward play at the plate in Sunday’s 9-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Johnson, who leads the Nationals with a .320 batting average and 42 RBI, underwent an MRI yesterday that revealed no breaks or tears. Club officials originally worried the injury might be more serious and might have affected either his ankle or knee.

Johnson hurt himself trying to avoid Blue Jays catcher Gregg Zaun when he crossed the plate on Vinny Castilla’s seventh-inning double. Rather than attempting to slide around or knock over Zaun, Johnson tried to sidestep him and wound up getting his right foot caught in the dirt. He walked gingerly back to the dugout and was replaced in the field by veteran Wil Cordero.

Nationals manager Frank Robinson is likely to start either Cordero or outfielder Brad Wilkerson at first base tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cordero is batting .038 (1-for-26) and has played only parts of two games in the field this season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Wilkerson played extensively at first base last year in Montreal but is considered a superior outfielder.

Right fielder Jose Guillen also underwent an MRI yesterday on his left shoulder, which revealed a severe contusion. Guillen’s status is day-to-day.

Mark Zuckerman


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