Well, this is an unwelcome surprise. After waiting for Matt Kemp to return from injury for what feels like all season, the Dodgers have indefinitely shut down his rehab from an ankle injury.
Kemp was working at Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers spring training home, when he had a setback, but not involving the ankle injury that he was coming back from. He felt pain in his right hamstring, the same one that put him on the DL throughout June.
So even if Kemp did return from the recent ankle injury, this just makes you think that it would have been short lived. Apparently this hamstring was bound to come back to haunt him regardless.
He suffered from the hamstring back on May 29 in Anaheim, and has only played in 11 games since. The re-aggravated hammy has set him back "indefinitely," which is does not rule out the playoffs, but at this point it would seem foolish to expect -- or even hope for -- his return in 2013.
While the Dodgers have been red-hot, Kemp's return has been anticipated because the Dodgers would have had four outfielders to rotate through. The prospect of having either Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig or Kemp on the bench every game was extremely enticing, but that is something that is going to have to wait until next year.
The Dodgers had all four outfielders available in just two games in 2013, but all are on contract for the next several seasons. At the start of this year, the hop question was, "Will the Dodgers trade away an extra outfield?" with Andre Ethier being a particular target. Hopefully the health troubles of this season will be enough to quell any demands for a trade in the offseason, becasue healthy or not, this team could use all four outfielders.
When Kemp is in the lineup, he not only adds his great bat and athleticism to the team, but also his presence as the team leader, general flare and energy to the game. Watching the Dodgers is not the same without Kemp, but at this point you can only hope that he returns in 2014 without any nagging issues with his shoulder, hamstring, or ankle.