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Kemp cleared for Home Run Derby; return still in doubt

The SportsXchange

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in desperate need of offense. They averaging just 3.52 runs per game in June and might not get superstar Matt Kemp back until after the All-Star break.

Manager Don Mattingly said on Monday that Kemp, who has been out since May 31 with a left hamstring strain, has been cleared to participate in the Home Run Derby but won't play in the All-Star Game, scheduled for July 9 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, unless he plays for the Dodgers beforehand.

"We're hoping to get him back after the break," Mattingly told the Los Angeles Times, adding that Kemp would need to play at least five games on a minor league rehab assignment before returning to the Dodgers.

Kemp, the National League captain for the Home Run Derby, and is hitting .355 with 12 home runs in 36 games this season.

But Kemp has also missed 38 of the last 40 games with two left hamstring strains. The Dodgers' 8-0 loss to the Giants on Monday night was their sixth loss in their last seven games and dropped their record to 20-18 without Kemp.

The Dodgers' lead in the National League West, once 7 1/2 games, is down to just two games over the Giants. With 13 games remaining until the All-Star break, will Kemp return to a team still in first place or one fighting to get back to the top?
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