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Blues' Johnson to start rehab; Backes out four weeks with knee

ST. LOUIS -- Blues rookie defenseman Erik Johnson will begin
rehabilitating his injured right foot in a stint with St. Louis'
top minor league squad, the team said Monday.

Another young player, forward David Backes, will be sidelined
four weeks with a ligament injury in his left knee.

Johnson, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2006 draft, has missed 10
games with a hairline fracture in the foot. He will make his first
appearance Tuesday for Peoria of the American Hockey League.

The 19-year-old Johnson is expected to return for practice with
the Blues on Wednesday, and could play Friday against Chicago.

In three games for St. Louis this season, Johnson, has one goal
and one assist.

An MRI on Monday revealed the injury to Backes who has a goal
and two assists in seven games. He was a second-round pick in 2003
and is in his second season with the Blues.