Dodgers' Matt Kemp not expected to return from injury on time

It might be a good thing the Dodgers didn’t shed an outfielder before the trade deadline. Before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees, oft-injured center fielder Matt Kemp was limping around the clubhouse.

He has been on the disabled list with a left ankle sprain since July 22 and won’t be ready to return when his 15 days are up Aug. 6, Stan Conte, the Dodgers vice president of medical services, told Manager Don Mattingly.

General Manager Ned Colletti let on that Kemp’s absence could stretch toward the end of the regular season.

“By the time we have the four you’re referring to [Kemp, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier] all ready to play, we’ll be a few weeks from the end,” Colletti said.

This is Kemp’s third visit to the DL of the season. He returned from an 11-game absence due to left AC joint inflammation on July 21, smacked a home run and a double in a three-for-four, three-RBI performance, then was placed back on the shelf the next day after he injured himself at home plate.

Earlier in the season, Kemp missed 42 games with a right hamstring strain.

Mattingly said they hoped the ankle sprain would be a day-to-day ailment, but it quickly became clear that wasn’t the case as the soreness remained.

“I don’t think it’s going quite as fast as we had hoped or he had hoped,” Mattingly said. “It’s going fairly slow, but there is progress and we’ll just kind of keep rolling until we get him ready.” 

Kemp’s .263 batting average/.319 on-base percentage/.382 slugging percentage in 62 games is his worst split since 2010. He’s likely to miss his most games since breaking into the majors in 2006.

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