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Reports on Matt Kemp's recovery encouraging to Dodgers' Don Mattingly

The Dodgers manager sounds much more upbeat about the prospect of getting Kemp back for several games in the regular season. The sidelined center fielder has a strained hamstring.

September 10, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has missed 81 games this season because of injury.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has missed 81 games this season because of… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

The Dodgers will soon have a better idea of whether Matt Kemp will play again this season. In the next day or two, Kemp is expected to run at the Dodgers' spring-training complex in Arizona to test the right hamstring he strained Friday.

Based on what Manager Don Mattingly has heard from the Dodgers' medical staff — basically, that Kemp's injury appears to be relatively minor — Mattingly is optimistic his sidelined center fielder will return.

"I'm starting to feel that way," Mattingly said, sounding significantly more upbeat than he did a few days earlier.

Kemp last played in a game July 21. He has been on the disabled list three times, missing a total of 81 games.

Ideally, Mattingly said he would like for Kemp to play in 10 to 12 games to prepare for the playoffs. The Dodgers have 18 games remaining in the regular season.

"It's hard to judge if it's like two games or something," Mattingly said. "It would be nice to be able to see 10, 12 games."

Kemp's return would also allow Mattingly to rest Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford.

"He could still get close to 10 games," Mattingly said. "Those are all in the realm of possibility."

Mattingly was particularly encouraged by reports from Arizona on how Kemp looked hitting in a simulated game Tuesday.

"I think he was like six for 10 with four homers or something like that," Mattingly said. "Something crazy. So, obviously, he's feeling better."

2014 schedule released

The Dodgers will face the San Francisco Giants on April 4 in the first game at Dodger Stadium next year, according to a tentative 2014 season schedule released by Major League Baseball.

The Dodgers will have already played four games by then.

As previously reported, the Dodgers will open next season against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a two-game set March 22-23 in Sydney, Australia. Because the Dodgers will be the designated away team in that series, they will still play 81 regular-season games at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers' first games on American soil will be in San Diego on April 1-2.

In addition to their customary games against the Angels, the Dodgers will face teams from the American League Central in interleague play.

The Dodgers will play host to the Detroit Tigers (April 8-9), Chicago White Sox (June 2-4) and Cleveland Indians (June 30-July 2). The road schedule will include visits to the Minnesota Twins (April 29-May 1), Kansas City Royals (June 23-25) and Tigers (July 8-9).

The Freeway Series will be played from Aug. 4-7, with the Dodgers will host the first two games and the Angels the last two.

The Dodgers will end the regular season at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 28 against the Colorado Rockies.

Short hops

Hyun-Jin Ryu, who missed his last scheduled start with stiffness in his back, remains in line to pitch Wednesday in the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks. … Adrian Gonzalez was nominated by his teammates for the union's Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, which recognizes a player "whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement." Fans can vote online at mlbplayers.com.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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