Johjima suffers new knee injury


The Hanshin Tigers said Wednesday that catcher Kenji Johjima’s latest left-knee injury is different from the one that required surgery in 2010. Johjima is currently rehabilitating with the club’s farm team after surgery in May for a herniated disk.

On Tuesday, Johjima suffered a strain behind his left knee while playing first base in a Western League game against Chunichi.

“It wasn’t anything like an injury to the meniscus, or ligament or cartilage,” trainer Yasunori Gonda said.

On the other hand, he cannot walk without crutches and will need to rest for the time being. His condition will be evaluated on Aug. 28 to see if he can begin rehabilitating from his latest setback.

Johjima had surgery to repair a tear in his left meniscus on Nov. 9, 2010. On May 22, the 36-year-old former major leaguer underwent surgery for a herniated disk and his first game action since his latest surgery came on Aug. 16 with the farm club.

“I want to believe that playing this season is within the realm of possibility. I plan to continue my rehab in order to make it possible,” said Johjima, who played in just 38 games last season and just 24 this year before he was deactivated in May.