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Johnson's first month encouraging

Johnson's first month encouraging

WASHINGTON -- Since recovering from a right leg injury that caused him to missed the entire 2007 season, Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson has played almost a month of Major League Baseball, and the results have been positive, for the most part.

Entering Sunday's action, Johnson is hitting .208, but he is leading Washington in RBIs (14) and walks (18). He also hasn't missed a beat with the glove, scooping bad throws and showing great range.

"I haven't been swinging the bat too well," Johnson said. "I'm just trying to keep working in the cage. I'm just trying to get a good feel. I'm just not seeing the ball. I'm not staying back and seeing strikes."

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Johnson said his leg is 100 percent healthy. When the doctors took the rod of out his surgically repaired right hip late last summer, it allowed him to get his agility back and move around the first-base bag without any problems.

"After I was able to get this hip free, I feel pretty good at first base," Johnson said. "But I still have to work on the ground balls and help the guys out when they throw the balls in the dirt. You have to pick them up. I try to be solid over there."

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

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