**Story by Jeff Owens/Photo by Allen Sharpe**
South Carolina closer Tyler Johnson is still recovering from arm soreness but is expected to return in time for SEC play, Gamecock coach Chad Holbrook said Tuesday night.
Johnson, who has four saves and 12 strikeouts in five games and 6.2 innings, left the March 4 game against Clemson after pitching the eighth inning and facing one batter in the ninth. Holbrook said after the game that Johnson's arm was sore after pitching on back-to-back days. He got the save in South Carolina's 2-0 win against Clemson Friday night.
Johnson will not pitch the rest of this week and Holbrook hopes to have him available for the first SEC games next weekend at Tennessee.
"Tyler is a little sore and we're going to try to hold him out this week and we'll look at him again next week," Holbrook said. "The goal is to have him fresh and ready to go come conference play."
Holbrook said he was being careful with his hard-throwing closer.
"There's no time line, we're just being extremely cautious," he said. "Everything is structurally sound and he feels a lot better today than he did yesterday, so I think he is on the mend."
Johnson was checked out and cleared by doctors.
"Everything has been checked out. He's had every scan and MRI in the book, and all is good," Holbrook said.