Chris Johnson has been out a little over three weeks with a fractured hand, but he is closing in on a return to the lineup. Fredi Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien on Thursday that barring a setback Johnson would rejoin Atlanta in time for next week's four-game series in San Francisco.
The rehab plan for Johnson is to get some at-bats in extended spring training on Friday and then head out for a three-game minor league rehab stint. Then if all goes well, Johnson will rejoin the club on Thursday against the Giants.
Johnson has appeared in 16 games with Atlanta so far this season and is hitting .279 with no homers and five RBIs. Third base has been a trouble spot for the Braves from an injury standpoint this season. Kelly Johnson and Phil Gosselin saw the bulk of playing time in place of Johnson before both hit the disabled list themselves. Johnson is out with a strained oblique while Gosselin suffered a wrist injury.