The next time Josh Johnson takes the mound in a major-league game will be a surreal experience for him -- and not just because he hasn't taken the hill since 2013.

Johnson, who has been sidelined since 2013 with a pair of injuries that required surgery, the most recent of which was his second career Tommy John surgery, is planning to convert himself into a reliever as he tries to work his way back onto a major-league mound.

"I like starting," Johnson said, per the San Diego Union-Tribune, "but whatever I can do to help the team."

Johnson has just begun to throw again after having his second Tommy John surgery in April 2014. He has yet to throw a pitch in a game for the Padres since they signed him before last season.

The Padres are optimistic the 31-year-old righty will be back on the bump by the end of the season.

"We're always hopeful," assistant general manager Fred Uhlman Jr. said. "He's just starting to ramp up, so we can't answer that until he gets back up on a mound."

(h/t San Diego Union-Tribune)