DENVER – The Los Angeles Dodgers extended the injury rehab assignment of former All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp Tuesday, making it unlikely Kemp would return to join the team this week. He has been out since July 22 with a sprained left ankle.
In five games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga, Kemp went 0-for-18 with seven strikeouts. He will travel to Arizona and face some of the Dodgers’ minor league pitchers in simulated games starting Wednesday and probably will stay for at least three or four days.
The Dodgers had been hopeful he would join them this weekend in Cincinnati, but it now seems more likely he would return next Monday at the earliest.
Kemp has had an injury-ravaged season, with three stints on the disabled list totaling 75 games. But the Dodgers have had good production from all three of their healthy outfielders, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford.
"If we were in the first four games of spring training, we really wouldn’t be worried about [Kemp’s struggles] that much,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s really where he’s at for me, trying to get that timing back.”
The Dodgers are hoping to get Kemp 10-12 at-bats per day in Arizona.
Puig left Monday’s game with a mildly strained right knee and was held out of Tuesday’s lineup for cautionary reasons, but he is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday or Friday.
When Kemp -– the 2011 NL MVP runner-up -- does return, it’s hard to predict where or when he will play. Ethier has played strong defense in center field and is batting .279 with a .364 on-base percentage.
“It’s hard to do anything with ‘Dre,” Mattingly said.