Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to move closer to clinching a third straight National League West division title, they’re doing so without services of multiple key players. Among that group is Howie Kendrick, who strained his left hamstring and has been on the disabled list since mid-August.

Kendrick had been progressing in his recovery, though Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said recently the second baseman had hit a bit of a plateau and the club wasn’t sure when he’d be able to press forward. That may be Saturday as Kendrick is expected to test his hamstring by running the bases, according J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:

Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick, who’s been on the disabled list since Aug. 10 because of a strained left hamstring, will attempt to run the bases at full speed tomorrow in Arizona. So far, Kendrick hasn’t been able to clear that important hurdle.

Mattingly added he’s confident Kendrick’s will be reinstated from the DL prior to the regular season coming to an end:

Unless something would happen to him, he’s going to be back here” before the end of the regular season, Mattingly said of Kendrick. “I don’t want to jinx it, but Howie’s going to be back.

Without Kendrick the Dodgers have relied on a combination of Kiké Hernandez, Jose Peraza and Chase Utley at second base. Though Utley has served as the primary option, particularly with Hernandez suffering a strained hamstring of his own that forced him to the DL, and Peraza dealing with hamstring soreness.

Should Kendrick manage to run the bases without issue on Saturday, his next step may be joining Triple-A Oklahoma City for their postseason as part of a rehab assignment. On the season Kendrick has hit .296/.341/.418 with nine home runs, 20 doubles and 49 RBIs in 105 games.

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