Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick was hurt in the finale of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates over a month ago. On Friday, he was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list in time for the first of three-game series against the same Pirates team.
Kendrick suffered a hamstring strain trying to beat out a ground ball and missed over a month recovering. In that time, the Dodgers also lost Kiké Hernandez to a hamstring injury and then Jose Peraza after that. They acquired Chase Utley from the Philadelphia Phillies and even started Justin Turner there for one game.
With their everyday second baseman back, manager Don Mattingly explained it will be a bit more complicated than penciling in Kendrick’s name at second base. “We’re kind of looking at it like we have to get him back in,” Mattingly said.
“He’s not going to go play rehab games, so we’re going to try and avoid throwing him out there every day. He’s basically no-restrictions. He can do anything, nobody has told me how to use him or to only do so much. I know we do want to be careful with him as far as getting him back in there and it not being four or five days in a row.”
Mattingly mentioned that the plan, at least early on, is to start Kendrick every other day. Utley would be expected to receive the starts the days Kendrick sits. One thing the Dodgers manager wasn’t concerned with was if the hamstring is 100 percent. “I think everybody is pretty confident the hamstring has healed and he’s ready to go,” he said. “I think he’s confident, it sounds like Stan [Conte, team vice president of medical services] is confident.”
The Dodgers have been hit by the injury bug, specifically hamstring, in the past month. Kendrick, Hernandez, Peraza and Yasiel Puig were all out at the same time with strains of the muscle. Kendrick is the first to return, and the others are all working to make it back before the season ends.