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Dodger Injury Concerns Overshadow Playoffs

Matt Kemp may join the Dodgers on Monday

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Hanley Ramirez has been feeling tightness in his hamstring, and will be brought back with caution as the Dodgers wrap up the regular season.

    The Dodgers pretty much have the NL West wrapped up with their magic number at four. It would take a monumental collapse -- and a fantastic run by Arizona -- for them to miss the playoffs.

    Even if they keep putting out a lineup like the one they used on Sunday against the Giants, they should manage to waltz into the postseason.

    The problem is that there was not a lot of choice behind putting out a lineup consisting of Dee Gordon, Skip Schumaker, Jerry Hairston and Nick Buss because injuries to their starters are really stacking up.

    Hanley Ramirez is taking time off for nerve issues in his back. Andre Ethier has been seen walking around in a boot with a tweaked ankle. Carl Crawford's reoccurring back tightness has flared up, keeping him out of the lineup. While Yasiel Puig has pain in his hip, most likely from his reckless style of play.

    They have been playing through these nagging injuries, but the pain has finally caught up to them. Luckily, the Dodgers have a 10.5-game lead and can afford to give these players time to recover.

    The Dodgers are not content with simply resting their star players. They want to accelerate Matt Kemp's rehab so he can fill in the hole in the outfield and the batting order. Kemp could be back as soon as Monday against Arizona.

    Of all the Dodger stars battling injuries this season, he has had it the worst. From the shoulder, to the hamstring, to the ankle, then back to the hamstring, Kemp has spent most of the season on the Disabled List or playing through pain.

    It would seem foolish if the Dodgers decide the only solution to their injury woes is to bring Kemp back from rehab quicker than planned.

    Come October, this team has the lineup, the starting rotation and bullpen to make waves in the playoffs. But player injuries has been a main subplot all season long.

    Now the big question is, "Will the Dodgers be healthy by the time October rolls around?"

    What is stopping these injuries from popping up during the playoffs? Hopefully a long stretch of rest for all these banged-up Dodgers starters is just what they need, but the way this season has gone, that sounds far too hopeful.

    Sorry for pouring on so much negativity in one post, but this is a real concern that is hard to overlook, especially after the most recent series loss to San Francisco.

    Once this team is in the playoffs nobody is going to want to see Nick Punto at shortstop, or Skip Schumaker in center field, but with injured starters there is nothing else the Dodgers can do.

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