San Diego Padres starting pitcher Josh Johnson is facing another long road to recovery, as he’s reportedly set to undergo his third Tommy John surgery in the near future.

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Johnson Expected to Make Another Comeback Attempt

Wednesday, Sept. 16

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports Johnson is likely going to schedule the procedure, which he previously underwent in 2007 and 2014, for next week. He’s not planning to abort his efforts to make it back to the big leagues despite the latest setback, though.

The 31-year-old starter began his throwing program with an eye on returning to the majors before season’s end as a reliever. His rehab assignment got cut short, however, and now, in all likelihood, the earliest he’ll be back would be the 2017 season.

Before he started the rehab, he talked about the extended battle he’s gone through trying to stay healthy long enough to rediscover his prior form, as noted by Beth Maiman of

“Being here, showing up every day, working hard, [being able to pitch again] would make it kind of easier to go through,” Johnson said. “It’s been tough, it’s been a long road, but things happen for a reason. I don’t know why right now, but it’s all part of it.”

Johnson shined for the Miami (then Florida) Marlins after the first Tommy John surgery. His best season came in 2010, when he led the National League in ERA at 2.30 while striking out 186 batters in 183.1 innings.

He appeared in just nine games during the 2011 season due to shoulder trouble, though, and he’s never been quite the same since. He hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2013 with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Johnson signed a one-year contract with the Padres for the 2015 season, per Spotrac. That means he’ll also be a free agent this offseason, and it’s unclear whether San Diego or another team will be interested in signing him with his availability up in the air.

His numbers during his peak years with the Marlins will always lead to a certain level of intrigue. Alas, it’s a long shot Johnson will ever become an effective starter in the majors again.


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