With his sights set on reclaiming the Los Angeles Dodgers starting center field spot, Matt Kemp has slowly but surely been advancing through his rehab from off-season ankle surgery. A few weeks back there was some concern as Kemp had yet to start running, but Kemp recently added running to his workout regimen and manager Don Mattingly said the center fielder was at step five of a seven-step recovery process after a positive MRI last week.
On Wednesday, Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com reported Kemp has added catching fly balls to his workouts and that his surgically repaired ankle isn’t causing any issues:
Matt Kemp has added turning and running after fly balls to his workout. Said the repaired ankle feels fine.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 6, 2014
Kemp dealt with shoulder issues last season, but in one of his many first games back from injury, showed flashes of the player that nearly won the 2011 NL MVP award. However in that same return on July 21, Kemp also suffered an ankle injury on a lackadaisical play as he ran towards home plate from third base.
The injury would sideline Kemp for much of the remainder of the season before the Dodgers made the decision to shut him down entirely because it was a career-threatening injury. With Opening Day under three weeks away, Kemp may not be available to face the Diamondbacks in Australia, but his return does appear as though it will come in the early portion of the regular season schedule.
Greinke threw for about five minutes off the mound, then tossed a few breaking balls on flat ground. The right-hander was unavailable for comment after the workout.
A timetable hasn’t been set for Greinke’s return and it is believed he won’t be ready to pitch in Australia. As with Kemp, it’s imperative both players don’t push too much, too soon, so as to increase their chances of a setback. If the Dodgers hope to reach the World Series, they’ll need both players healthy throughout the season, rather than at less than 100 percent at the start of it.
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