The Dodgers were decimated by injuries early this season and star center fielder Matt Kemp was right in the middle of it as he’s spent the better portion of the season on the disabled list.
Kemp had offseason shoulder surgery and didn’t get off to a great start before a hamstring injury caused him to miss almost a month. Another shoulder injury and the latest, a sprained ankle, have only allowed Kemp to play in just 62 games for the Dodgers.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Kemp could be nearing a rehab assignment next week:
Matt Kemp could start a minor league rehabilitation assignment this week. Said his ankle is pain-free.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) August 25, 2013
Kemp hurt his ankle on a mental lapse as he wasn’t hustling around third and before he knew it, he slid awkwardly into home plate and rolled his ankle.
At the time, manager Don Mattingly thought the injury wasn’t severe, but Kemp has been sidelined since the first series after the All-Star break. Once he does return, Mattingly will have to decide which outfielder will be the odd man out, but it hasn’t been an issue since all four haven’t been healthy at the same time this season.
However, Kemp maintained that he would return before the beginning of September, but hasn’t been able to rehab the ankle as aggressively as he’d hoped.
This season, Kemp is hitting .263 with five home runs and 27 RBIs as it’d be great to put his bat in the middle of the lineup. While there are concerns that his activation will mess with the chemistry of the team, the Dodgers need to have Kemp in their lineup to obtain their goal of winning the World Series.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Vin Scully returning next season!