Jim Johnson returns to the Orioles clubhouse after hospital stay

After spending a few nights at Baltimore's St. Agnes hospital with food poisoning, pitcher Jim Johnson was back in the Orioles clubhouse today. He may have lost a few pounds, but not his sense of humor.

"At different points of time, it was pretty bad. You're going to have to wash your mics after this," he told reporters at his locker.

Johnson was clearly in good spirits, but it sounds like there is a decent chance that we will not see him get in the game tonight.

"Yeah, it might be a stretch (to pitch tonight), but we'll see. I'm going to go out and play catch in a few minutes. We'll see how things feel and I'll let Buck know," Johnson said.

Johnson is off to a great start this year, going 7-for-7 in save chances with 7 2/3 scoreless innings. He is tied for the American League saves lead with Seattle's Brandon League and Chris Perez of Cleveland.

He last pitched on Sunday in Anaheim and then went into the hospital in the early morning hours of Tuesday.

"They said I got food poisoning. I ended up getting some bad food, they were able to narrow it down and treat it," Johnson said. "They were just worried about a couple of other bacterias. That is why I was there so long. I felt better yesterday without any treatment.

"Just kind of lethargic I guess right now. I've been laying on my back for almost four days. So just getting on my feet running around and doing some cardio stuff is good," he said.

So what is the next step for him now?

"We are just playing it by ear right now. Just doing what I can, but not try to overdo it," Johnson said. "Just see where I'm at. Just tell them how I feel after I do certain things and we'll try to make up a game plan. We are not setting up a structure like 'you are doing this or that.' It's just based on how I feel."

One thing Johnson hasn't done the last few days is watch his teammates play on television.

"I let the president of the hospital know, when she came into my room, that they didn't have MASN. I had to watch the MLB thing and didn't have any video on my iPad. I was watching the pitch by pitch. Their strike zone analysis is kind of interesting," he said.

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