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Nick Johnson Badly Injured


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Nats' Johnson breaks leg, needs surgery; Mets end skid

NEW YORK (AP) -- Even before Nick Johnson was carted off the field, the Washington Nationals knew he was badly hurt.


Johnson broke his right leg in an outfield collision during the eighth inning of the New York Mets' 12-6 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.


The first baseman collided with right fielder Austin Kearns while chasing David Wright's blooper down the right-field line that fell in for a triple. Johnson was immobilized and taken to a hospital. He was scheduled to have surgery Saturday night in New York to repair his right femur, the bone in the upper part of his leg.


Second baseman Jose Vidro, who was near the collision, said he heard a "crack." Washington manager Frank Robinson said that when trainers tried to move Johnson, "You can't even describe the sounds he made."


"You sit there and see a teammate and a friend on the ground yelling in pain," Kearns said. "It makes you sick to your stomach. I'm just sick to my stomach, I don't know anything else to say."


The oft-injured Johnson actually remained healthy nearly all season. He batted .290 with 23 homers, 77 RBI and 110 walks in 147 games.


The Mets were on the other end of a similar play last season, when center fielder Carlos Beltran and right fielder Mike Cameron banged heads while chasing a ball in a game at San Diego.


"Obviously, he was in pain. You just hate to see it happen," said Wright, who went out into the outfield to check on Johnson.


"You have two competitors out there, two big bodies out there going full speed on each other. The Carlos Beltran and the Mike Cameron collision and now this one. Two people just playing the game hard."


Said Beltran, who is out with a strained quadriceps: "I feel sorry for him, he's a good guy."

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As far as collisions go, I've seen much worse. And you can't really get a good look of the right femur breaking because it's wedged under Kearn's body. But they show the upper leg when they cart him off and it's all bulbous and clearly broken -- it almost looks like he has two knees, or one really big knee. It is the strongest bone in your body -- you would think it would take a lot more to break it.

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