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Johnson feels 'a lot better' as Nats prep for Game 1

MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- After being diagnosed with a nerve issue Wednesday and spending time in the hospital Friday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson arrived at Busch Stadium on Saturday feeling "a lot better."

Johnson exited Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Phillies early due to numbness in his left leg caused by a narrowing of the L3 and L4 vertebrae. The manager said he was given novocaine and a cortisone shot -- the same type of treatment that turned around Ryan Zimmerman's season -- to ease the inflammation in his back.

Johnson said he felt pain free Saturday, complaining only of a stiff back irritated further by the sub-50-degree temperatures.

"This St. Louis weather ain't helping it," Johnson said. "I'm going to be fine."

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who will start Game 1 for Washington on Sunday, poked fun at Johnson's situation when describing his first year with the 69-year-old manager, the oldest in the Majors.

"He's a guy that brings excitement. He's always smiling," Gonzalez said. "I think with Davey, he's just got to stay healthy."

Full Game Coverage
ST. Full Game Coverage LOUIS -- After being diagnosed with a nerve issue Wednesday and spending time in the hospital Friday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson arrived at Busch Stadium on Saturday feeling "a lot better."

Johnson exited Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Phillies early due to numbness in his left leg caused by a narrowing of the L3 and L4 vertebrae. The manager said he was given novocaine and a cortisone shot -- the same type of treatment that turned around Ryan Zimmerman's season -- to ease the inflammation in his back.

Johnson said he felt pain free Saturday, complaining only of a stiff back irritated further by the sub-50-degree temperatures.

"This St. Louis weather ain't helping it," Johnson said. "I'm going to be fine."

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who will start Game 1 for Washington on Sunday, poked fun at Johnson's situation when describing his first year with the 69-year-old manager, the oldest in the Majors.

"He's a guy that brings excitement. He's always smiling," Gonzalez said. "I think with Davey, he's just got to stay healthy."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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