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C. Johnson targets Thursday return from DL

Third baseman takes BP at Turner Field, set for Triple-A rehab stint
MLB.com

ATLANTA -- Braves third baseman Chris Johnson took batting practice at Turner Field on Sunday morning for the first time since going on the disabled list with a fractured left hand.

Johnson said after his session in the cage that the hand felt good, and he wasn't experiencing any kind of lingering pain.

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ATLANTA -- Braves third baseman Chris Johnson took batting practice at Turner Field on Sunday morning for the first time since going on the disabled list with a fractured left hand.

Johnson said after his session in the cage that the hand felt good, and he wasn't experiencing any kind of lingering pain.

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"It felt awesome," he said. "It's fun to be back with the team, back on the big league field taking BP."

Tweet from @CarlosACollazo: Braves third baseman Chris Johnson taking some ground balls before BP. https://t.co/0sZaCWwq7S

Before fracturing the hand on a headfirst slide into second base against the Reds on April 30, Johnson was hitting .279 with a .719 OPS in 43 at-bats. After watching Sunday's game against the Brewers in Atlanta, Johnson will start a three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett before joining the Braves for a road series in San Francisco on Thursday.

Tweet from @CarlosACollazo: And here's CJ taking BP with the team. #Braves https://t.co/lY89qpmZBD

"I'm going to play [Monday] in Gwinnett and we'll go from there," Johnson said. "I've been missing the guys, missing the games. Staying in the hotel down in Orlando, it's hard because I only get the games on TV. ... It's going to be a lot of fun today to hang out and watch the game, and just be a part of the team."

Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Atlanta Braves, Chris Johnson