C. Johnson targets Thursday return from DL

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

C. Johnson targets Thursday return from DL

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.

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

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.

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