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Matt Kemp aiming to return to the Dodgers’ starting lineup for first game after All-Star break

Jul 1, 2012, 10:34 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has been on the shelf for close to five weeks with a left hamstring strain that dates back to the middle of May. But he is making progress and already charting his return.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Kemp is planning to embark on a minor league rehab assignment next week and hopes to rejoin the Dodgers for their first scheduled game after the All-Star break (July 13 against the Padres).

Kemp will compete in the Home Run Derby on July 9 at Kauffman Stadium but will skip the All-Star Game.

The 27-year-old is batting .355/.444/.719 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI in 36 games played this season.┬áThe Dodgers have taken a sharp dip in the standings while he’s been sidelined and currently trail the Giants by one game in the National League West.

  1. wj4122 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Good because they need him back! If he gets re injured during the derby it would be one of the saddest and dumbest things to happen. I’m surprised they are willing to work that into his rehab.

  2. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    The Dodgers have practically forfeited 5 of their last 6 games. Their unbelievable start was anchored by starting pitching that can not be repeated. Kemp’s return will do nothing for this teams playoff chances this year. They have gone from the best record in baseball, to their true identity, the worst offense in baseball.

    This is a bitter disappointment to me. As my favorite NL team, I was hoping for a deep playoff run for what is likely Vin Scully’s final year.

    • Hoss - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      I think you’re underestimating how important it is for the team to have BOTH Kemp and Ethier in the lineup together.

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