Johnson suffers setback in recovery

Johnson suffers setback in recovery

NEW YORK -- Lance Berkman isn't the only designated hitter hurting. Nick Johnson, who hasn't suited up for the Yankees since May 7, suffered a setback in his attempt to return from right wrist surgery.

"Nick Johnson's wrist hurts again," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been doing work and [trainer] Gene [Monahan] came in and said it was sore. I'm not sure exactly what that means, how long is it now."

Johnson had been slowly making progress since undergoing surgery on May 18, finally taking batting practice over the last week. Girardi wasn't sure exactly how he suffered the setback, though.

The Yankees hadn't exactly been counting on Johnson's return. They never set any firm timetable on his comeback, and they pulled off the deal for Berkman at the Trade Deadline precisely because they did not know when or even if Johnson would return.

"It's hard to count on someone who has a wrist injury. Wrists are very difficult to come back from without a full offseason," Girardi said. "I wasn't anticipating us getting him back. If we got him back, I thought that was a huge plus. What this [setback] means, I can't exactly tell you, but it doesn't sound too good."

Johnson has hit .167 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 72 at-bats this season after signing with the Yankees as a free agent.