Josh Johnson on his simulated game

Padres pitcher Josh Johnson had his second Tommy John surgery nearly a year ago to the day.

On Tuesday afternoon, he continued to make good progress towards a return to the Padres, throwing his first simulated game at Petco Park. Johnson tossed two innings and approximately forty pitches in front of the attentive eyes of most of his teammates and the entire front office, walking off the mount to hugs and high-fives from his teammates.

Johnson has thrown several bullpen sessions, using most of his pitches but said he’s just spinning his curveball. “I haven’t really used that yet. I’m going to wait a little bit longer but everything else was good. The changeup was actually good but I yanked a couple of them. Now it’s more timing out of the stretch, stuff like that.”

Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley was very pleased with what he saw, but cautioned the team plans to be very cautious with Johnson’s timetable. Johnson plans to throw another simulated game on Monday in Arizona and Balsley said a June return still appears to be the target return date.

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