"Just lingered around. When I first got here, it was fine. We rehabbed it, but then it just got worse and worse. We are going to get it figured out tomorrow. We are going to get everything squared away and find out more. We really don't know. We are going to leave it up to them to figure it out."
Johnson said that tests appear to have ruled out any potential damage with the anterior cruciate ligament. Johnson added it could be some sort of tendon problems as he pointed to the back of his left knee as the general area for the pain.
"It just [stinks]. All year, I felt fine," Johnson said. "At the end of July, I was still feeling good and then it popped. I rehabbed it for the month of August, came up here and felt fine, playing well and being explosive. And it just kept coming back and back. I ran out of miles on the car."
"We had mentioned it a little bit in New York that he had something going on with his knee," manager Robin Ventura said. "I know they're going to go in and clean it up, and get it fixed. He had something, he just felt like was in there. Playing-wise, you just can't play your best. They did the right thing. It's not that big a deal, but it's enough to go in and fix it."
There's no timetable for Johnson's return to baseball activity, basically because there's no certainty as to what has been causing the pain. When Johnson does get back on the field, he will be working on a hitch that he has in his double play turn. It's something the 24-year-old had been working on with third-base coach and infield instructor Joe McEwing before the left knee pain returned.
Repetition becomes the key to fixing that hitch issue, per Johnson and Ventura. Johnson broke camp as the starting second baseman, but returned to Triple-A Charlotte in May to work on his defense and made what he felt were significant strides.
Johnson's focus remains on staying at second, even if Carlos Sanchez, his replacement, has been described as the stronger defensive player at the position while the left-handed-hitting Johnson is known more for his offense.
"[Sanchez is] very good at turning double plays. He's quick and I have a little hitch in my throw that is something I have to work on in the offseason," said Johnson, who hit .230 for the White Sox and .315 with 28 stolen bases for Charlotte. "It's not something you can fix right away. Put us both together and we'll have something good. We're both working at it to be an all-around player."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.