Johnson likely heading to disabled list

Johnson likely heading to disabled list

BOSTON -- The Yankees are planning to be without Nick Johnson for at least the next 15 days, as the designated hitter was forced to leave Friday's 10-3 win against the Red Sox with soreness in his right wrist.

Johnson's injury preceded a blow to Robinson Cano's left knee that could keep the club's leading hitter out of Saturday's tilt at Fenway Park, but Cano is being listed as day-to-day. Johnson, meanwhile, is heading back to New York for an MRI, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi expects an upcoming DL stint.

"Obviously it's a concern when he's had repeated wrist problems," Girardi said. "It bothered him a little bit last week, but he came back and was fine. Maybe it bothered him the whole time and he just didn't let on."

Johnson said that he felt weakness in his wrist after his first-inning strikeout against Boston's Josh Beckett, and he told the manager about the problem after grounding out in the fourth.

"I just didn't get my strength back for the next pitch," Johnson said. "It gets sore occasionally, but nothing like tonight."

Johnson's wrist was surgically repaired in 2008, but he said it was "perfectly fine" all of last year, when he played for the Nationals and Marlins. He will see team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and hand specialist Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser on Saturday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

"I'm just going to see what the doc says," Johnson said. "It was great last year for a long time. Hopefully it's just a [cortisone] shot."

But with Marcus Thames likely to take over DH duties against Boston, Girardi could use an extra infielder -- perhaps Eduardo Nunez or Kevin Russo -- at least until Cano's swelling goes down.

At one point Friday, Girardi saw only catcher Jorge Posada left on his bench before turning to pitcher Javier Vazquez and asking, "You used to play infield, right?"

"My card is a little short," Girardi said. "My only extra guy was a guy who has a calf problem."

After being hit by Beckett, Cano attempted to stay in the game but took himself out with a 1-1 count on Nick Swisher, walking off the field as Ramiro Pena replaced him at first base. No tests were immediately planned.

Cano was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, ending a 14-game hitting streak against the Red Sox. He entered play Friday ranked fourth in the Majors with a .362 batting average.

"It's frustrating," Cano said. "You don't want to see your teammates get hurt. It's the game of baseball. We hope nobody else gets hurt and we can play with our whole lineup from now on."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.