NEW YORK -- Kelly Johnson found a way to get into the starting lineup and simultaneously provided Martin Prado reason to at least think of wearing some padding while taking grounders during batting practice.
Since Prado unseated him as the Braves' primary second baseman earlier this year, Johnson has been fighting to gain regular playing time. But drilling Prado just below the left knee with a line drive during Wednesday afternoon's batting practice at Citi Field certainly wasn't part of his plan.
After getting hit with the liner, Prado remained on the ground for about five minutes and created a scare among the other Braves who quickly surrounded him. Just when it seemed he may need to be carted off the field, the hard-nosed second baseman rose and made it back to the clubhouse with just a slight limp.
After being examined by the Braves trainers, Prado said he still wanted to start Wednesday's series finale against the Mets. But the Braves heeded caution by taking X-rays and replacing him at second base with Johnson.
Prado missed one game after getting hit above the left ankle with Matt Diaz's batting practice line drive before a July 30 game against the Marlins at Land Shark Stadium.
When a reporter asked who hit the line drive that evening, Johnson playfully replied, "It wasn't me, guys."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.