It's impressive that the Los Angeles Dodgers have enjoyed the success they have despite Matt Kemp playing in only 11 games since May 30 and one game since July 21. Unfortunately for them, they'll have to continue impressing without Kemp, because the 28-year-old center fielder has suffered yet another setback in his season long battle with a strained right hamstring.
According to Dodger Talk's David Vassegh, Kemp experienced tightness in the right hamstring while on his rehab assignment for an ankle sprain suffered on July 21. The ankle is reportedly one-hundred percent healed, as is the right shoulder that cost him another two weeks in July, but the aggravation of his hamstring, which sidelined Kemp 24 games in May and June, is going to force the Dodgers to shut him down indefinitely as they evaluate the injury and come up with a new rehab plan.
With only three weeks left in the regular season, it would seem pretty clear that we won't be seeing Kemp again until the postseason at the earliest. Considering the numerous ailments and the uphill battle Kemp has been facing all season just to stay on the field, the odds may be against an October return as well.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly acknowledged as much when speaking with the media prior to Friday night's game in Cincinnati.
Mattingly in Kemp "I'm not ready to concede anything, but at some point we run out of time"
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) September 6, 2013
Kemp also missed two months during the 2012 season with a left hamstring ailment, so there's very little basis for optimism when it comes to Kemp getting healthy and staying healthy. But if there is a silver lining, it's that the Dodgers have built themselves a very comfortable cushion in the standings. That affords them time to be cautious and time to be patient with Kemp.
Will it make a difference? Time will tell. But at least they know they have time on their side.
Oh, and another thing they have on their side? Yasiel Puig. He'll return to their lineup on Friday night after sitting out two game with a mild right knee sprain.