MIAMI ( – Ever since Marlins ace Josh Johnson went down with what was termed as “shoulder inflammation,” the team went into a free-fall of epic proportions. While Johnson was initially on the 15-day disabled list, it’s looking more like he may not return until August, if at all this season.

Still, Johnson told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald that he’s going to play again this season, even if the Marlins season is over by the time he’s ready to pitch again.

“It’s always going to be worth it,” Johnson told the Herald. “If I can come back and throw one start, I’m going to try to come back and throw one start.”

Johnson has visited with world-renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama. Johnson was told he didn’t have any structural damage, but he and the Marlins have been very careful with the arm the team wants to ride.

For the Marlins, they will not rush Johnson back to the mound; especially considering that at this point, they’re playoff chances are fading fast. The Fish are currently in last place and 15.5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies, a team the Marlins haven’t shown the ability to beat.

The Marlins want Johnson healed by the time the 2012 season rolls around, when the Miami Marlins will open up a new ballpark in Little Havana. The management is focused on that goal, not the 2011 season.

So while Johnson may want to pitch, if the Marlins aren’t 100 percent sure that he’s able to do it without a risk of further injury; Johnson will not get anywhere near a mound this season. Johnson told the Herald that Andrews told him that the injury won’t be a chronic problem.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)


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