The Palmerston boss revealed the Queens number one will be out for a couple of months after his collision with Kilmarnock defender Brandon Haunstrup two weeks ago.
Rae – who signed from Peterhead during the close season – had an op on Wednesday and is hoping to return to action in a “couple of months”.
AJ said: “You seen what happened last week to Josh Rae. He’s broken a bone in his cheek so he’ll be out for a couple of months.
“It was his eye socket, cheek and his nose. It was a fair collision and whack. It was unintentional from the Kilmarnock player, he was just trying to get out the way but Josh has come out worse.
“Josh is gutted but obviously it’s good news that it’s going to be two months as it did look like it was going to be longer.
“We initially thought it was going to be a little bit longer but he went to see the specialist earlier this week and had the operation on Wednesday.”
Queens announced the signing of Brynn for a season-long loan spell on Wednesday morning and the manager reveals he’s had his eye on the 20-year-old for some time.
“We’re lucky enough to bring in one of the boys from Middlesbrough on loan.
“He’s who I’ve been interested in since pre-season. There was a lot of interest in him so I’m delighted to get someone of his calibre.
“It’s a season long loan but it’s got a recall option in there. Hopefully he’ll be here for the season, he’s really highly rated down there.”
The manager also revealed that a number of first team players have had to isolate after two positive tests in the camp. But Johnston is adamant that Lee Connelly, Calvin McGrory, Josh Debayo and Euan East will feature in Saturday’s match against Greenock Morton.
He added: “It’s been a bit of a nightmare to be honest. They’ve been missing for the last ten days so three boys boys are just back in, and one is meant to be back on Thursday (yesterday).”
Three of the younger members of the squad have also tested positive in a separate incident and won’t be back in time for Saturday.
AJ added: “Three of the younger players have tested positive too. It seems like covid is quite bad in Dumfries at the minute.
“They won’t be back in time. That’s the difficult part with people having to isolate for ten days, it’s important to get the players vaccinated and their two jabs.
“The rules change when you get your two jabs. Even if they are a close contact they just need to do a PCR test rather than isolate.”
The boss also stated that Alex Cooper, Udoka Chima and Kieran McKechnie are all out of contention for their trip to Greenock.
But Johnston will be back in the dugout at Cappielow and he’s expecting a tough matchup.
He said: “We know we will need to be at our best to get a result and they’ve brought in some decent players.
“Every game is going to be hard. But the last thing you want to do is find yourself in one of those situations where you’re playing catch up with teams. We can’t afford the gap to get much bigger. We want to stay in the mix.
“We’ve been really unlucky the first two games of the season.”
The Doonhamers this morning added two youngsters to the squad. Joining the club as amateurs are 22-year-old, Olly McDonald and 18-year-old Matthew Henderson.
Attacking winger, Olly came through the youth system at Kilmarnock and was linked with a move to Sweden. He is the son of ex Hamilton player, Paul McDonald.
While defender, Matthew spent his early career as a youth player at Rangers. He is a left sided defender who can also play in central defence.