As the postseason approaches, the injuries are piling up for the Dodgers. With Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford all sitting on Sunday with nagging injuries, help may be on the way as soon as Monday.
Matt Kemp will join the team on Monday for early workouts in Phoenix and could be activated before the Dodgers open their four-game series against the Diamondbacks. If all goes well, Kemp will return to the field for the first time since July 21 as the Dodgers look to close out the NL West in the desert.
There’s a chance Kemp could return tomorrow, but manager Don Mattingly is more concerned about the outfielder’s long-term health according to Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com:
We’ll see him tomorrow. He’ll be at the ballpark tomorrow working out early with us, running, doing the bases and doing all that. I’ve been told that depending on where he’s at, it could be tomorrow. I don’t know. Obviously we want him to be healthy.
While Kemp has been hitting in simulated game situations with Dodgers minor league pitchers and has already begun running, it doesn’t mean Mattingly will start him immediately:
I haven’t gotten that far yet.
Kemp has dealt with numerous injuries the past two seasons and this season he’s dealt with hamstring, shoulder and ankle injuries. With no return timetable for Puig, Ethier, and Crawford, the Dodgers can only hope that Kemp will be ready to help the team make a strong push into the postseason.
The team is currently in a three-way tie for the second best record in the NL and will need to get as healthy as possible to avoid starting the NLDS on the road.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Hanley Ramirez’s hamstring injury.