Johnson's start pushed back a second time

Johnson's start pushed back a second time

Johnson's start pushed back a second time

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Josh Johnson's next scheduled outing was pushed back another day because of a blister on his right middle finger.

Johnson was originally scheduled to pitch Saturday against Texas, but he had that start pushed back Thursday. On Friday it was moved yet again to give the pending free agent a little more time to recover.

The 29-year-old Johnson will now take the mound for a series opener against Colorado on Monday night at Rogers Centre.

"They want to try and let it completely heal so it doesn't become a problem," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "The thing is, too, that down here, as hot as it is and sweating all of the time, you might make it worse."

The Blue Jays can ill afford to lose Johnson for any extended period of time. He recently returned after a six-week absence with inflammation in his right triceps muscle, and the club is without fellow starters Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ.

Despite sustaining two setbacks in as many days, Gibbons sounded confident when asked if Johnson would finally be able to pitch Monday. The delay has been described as precautionary, and there does not seem to be any concern that it will require his start to be skipped entirely.

If Johnson does make his start, it will be welcome news for a pitcher who is still searching for his first win of the year 66 games into its season.

"It irritated him a little bit playing catch yesterday, so we figured, you know what, with the rainout [in Chicago] everyone can go on their normal rest anyways," Gibbons said.

"It just makes sense to push him back; get up there in the cool climate of [Toronto]."

Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang will now make Sunday's outing on regular rest. He was originally scheduled to pitch Monday against the Rockies.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.