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OSAKA (Kyodo) The Hanshin Tigers are in no hurry to bring back injured catcher Kenji Johjima for next season, manager Akinobu Mayumi said Tuesday.

“If he goes straight into the season and does the knee again, then the injury could linger,” Mayumi said. “It could even threaten his career and we want to avoid that no matter what.”

The 34-year-old Johjima had left knee surgery last month to repair a damaged meniscus and is doubtful to make the March 25 season opener against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

In 2010, Johjima hit .303 with 28 home runs and 91 RBIs in his first season with the Tigers. The former Seattle Mariners backstop played in all 144 regular-season games.

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