No longer limping, Johnson says he will play again this season
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Larry Johnson stepped from the white luxury car with shiny rims and strode across the parking lot, making his way past a pair of whispering, giggling girls at the entrance of the restaurant.
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The Kansas City running back slapped hands with a few fans, then made his way down some steps to a seat next to Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson, lowering a set of headphones over his ears as he sat down.
The significance of Johnson's little jaunt? He wasn't limping.
Eleven days after injuring his foot in a game against Green Bay, Johnson is moving better and the swelling has reduced enough for him to put on a pair of green-and-yellow sneakers. Though ruled out for Sunday's game at Indianapolis, Johnson says he will play again this season.
"It's going good," Johnson said during Peterson's weekly radio show. "A lot of people don't realize my foot was swollen bad at the end of the game, then I was on crutches for two, three days. This is only the first week and I'm able to walk fine without using a boot."
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Johnson was injured when he was pulled down from behind by Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk and caught the top of his toe on the turf. Johnson had to be helped from the field, then was carted off to the locker room.
There was a report last week that Johnson had broken his foot, and the Chiefs have been coy about the severity of the injury, saying only that it was a mid-foot sprain. Johnson didn't clarify the diagnosis, saying only that he's doing everything he can to speed up his return.
"If you went to my house, my room looks like the set of 'ER,'" said Johnson, who stopped talking to local reporters at the beginning of the season. "I have ice buckets, I have stim machines, I have the whole works sitting next to my bed, so I'm rehabbing even when I'm at home watching TV."
Johnson won't be making the trip to Indianapolis - he's instead visiting a foot specialist in Charlotte, N.C. - which could be a good thing for someone who says he had missed one game in his life (in high school) before watching Sunday's 27-11 loss to Denver from the sideline.
"At halftime, I went and did more rehab because I just really couldn't watch it anymore," Johnson said. "It was just frustrating for me not being able to be out there."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.