At the heart of the Los Angeles Dodgers problems from 2013 was the amount of injuries their high profile players endured. Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Hanley Ramirez, Mark Ellis, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp all missed significant portions during the season.
At the heart of all the injuries was Kemp, who missed time due to hamstring, shoulder and ankle injuries. While he missed significant time with all three injuries, Kemp had off-season shoulder and ankle surgeries. The shoulder surgery was more of a clean-up, while the ankle surgery has people around the Dodgers concerned about his return.
Talking to Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com, Kemp said that he doesn’t foresee the ankle and shoulder giving him trouble:
Matt Kemp said Wednesday that the boot is off his ankle, he is starting to run and “the ankle is not going to be a problem.” The left shoulder that was operated on a year ago November and wasn’t right in 2013 “is back the way it was before the injury.”
After seeing his name in several trade rumors for weeks, Kemp has gone on a media tour recently, talking with ESPN about not being traded as his personal life has come to the forefront once again. Teams like the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers were all connected to the 29-year-old outfielder, but were wary of his medical records, specifically the ankle.
Kemp originally injured the ankle in late July during the Dodgers first series back from the All-Star break and after coming back and playing 11 games in September, he was shut down for the playoffs in fear he would break the ankle if he continued to play on it.
Many still expect the Dodgers to trade one of their four high-priced outfielders, but with injury concerns surrounding Kemp and Crawford, keeping all four might not be the worst idea. Still, Kemp is going to have to prove to the Dodgers and Dodger fans that he’s 100 percent over the injuries that have plagued him the past two seasons as everyone is hoping he can regain his MVP form.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and J.P. Howell agreed to a two-year deal earlier this week