Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly expects Matt Kemp back this season

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, left, congratulates Matt Kemp on a home run against the Washington Nationals in July. Mattingly is confident Kemp will be back in the lineup this season.
(Nick Wass, AP)

The great unknown for the Dodgers this postseason is Matt Kemp.

He’s been out for over two months with a sprained ankle and now a hamstring issue, and the clock says he is running out of time.

But Tuesday, for the first time really, Manager Don Mattingly said he felt that Kemp would be back in time to get him ready for the playoffs.

“Yeah, I do,” Mattingly said. “I’m starting to feel that way.”


Mattingly was encouraged by reports Tuesday that Kemp had a good rehab day back at the team’s training facility in Phoenix.

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

What Kemp has not done since injuring his right hamstring Friday in Phoenix is run. He is expected to test the hamstring by running within the next two days.

The Dodgers have only 19 regular-season games remaining and need to get Kemp a reasonable amount of game activity prior to the postseason to be able to judge where he’s at physically.

“As many [games] as possible,” Mattingly said. “I don’t know if I have a minimum so much. It’s hard to judge if it’s like two games or something. It would be nice to be able to see 10, 12 games.

“He could still get close to 10 games. Those are all in the realm of possibility.”