That wasn’t the best way for the Dodgers to start their off-season, their franchise player undergoing the knife, a little uncertainty now hanging over next season.
Matt Kemp had his shoulder surgery Friday and was unable to manage the best-case scenario of the simpler cleanup procedure.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache had to repair the torn labrum in Kemp’s non-throwing, left shoulder in the 60-minute operation.
Kemp is not expected to be able to swing a bat until January, though the Dodgers said they expect him to be able to start the season on time. He is scheduled to begin his rehab in a week to 10 days.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez had the same procedure in October 2010 and played in only 11 games during the spring with the Red Sox, but was able to start the season on time. Gonzalez told The Times’ Dylan Hernandez he began the season fine but did not develop his normal power until May.
Gonzalez hit .314 with only one home run in April that season, but had nine homers while hitting .341 in May.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez had his shoulder repaired in September 2011 and started last season on time. He had previous arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder in 2007.
Kemp injured his shoulder running into the Coors Field wall on Aug. 28, the warning track not serving as much of a warning. He had also run into the wall the previous night.
He played in 28 games after running into the wall in Denver, hitting .214 with six home runs and 16 RBIs.
Kemp now gives the Dodgers two starting outfielders recovering from surgery this off-season. Carl Crawford, who is still expected to start in left field, is recovering from Tommy John surgery performed Aug. 23.