Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp said he expected to be back before the end of August, but he’s progressing slower than expected and won’t be activated until September.
Kemp injured his ankle in his first game back from a strained shoulder as he didn’t hustle around third and slid late into home, twisting his ankle pretty badly.
After watching him workout before games, manager Don Mattingly told Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com the plans have changed about his eventual return:
We thought he’d have a chance before September, but Matt’s still not playing. He’s still not there as time marches on. We don’t feel he’s moving backward. He’s just moving forward slowly.
Kemp’s taken BP or run in the outfield, but he still isn’t running at full speed and isn’t at a place where Mattingly and the training staff are comfortable to let him ramp up his rehab.
While 2013 has been disappointing for the star center fielder, his injury has allowed Mattingly to play a consistent outfield of Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig.
This is the third injury Kemp is trying to come back from as he hurt his hamstring and re-injured his shoulder at various points during the season. Hitting just .263 with five home runs and 23 RBIs, the Dodgers can surely use his bat in the middle of the lineup as the offense has slowed down in the past two games.
Ultimately, Kemp needs to make sure he’s 100 percent healthy and the longer he rehabs and takes the cautious route, the better he and the Dodgers will be in September and hopefully late in October.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out the latest on Matt Kemp’s ankle injury.