Matt Kemp underwent surgery last year to repair a torn labrum he suffered when crashing into an outfield wall. The Los Angeles Dodgers' slugger is targeting an Opening Day return, but he will likely play during spring training. Just don't expect him to be 100 percent.
In a conversation with reporters, including Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Kemp said his plan all along has been to be 100 percent by Opening Day. He has been rehabbing the shoulder and progressively getting stronger, but he does not expect to be his same old self when spring training starts in a few weeks.
“I’m not trying to be 100% in spring training,” Kemp said. “I’m trying to be 100% for the first game of the season.”
Kemp took a step back last season from his incredible 2011 campaign. This was due almost exclusively to injuries. In fact, had Kemp not been on the disabled list so often in 2012, he may have eclipsed his 2011 numbers.
In 2011, Kemp hit .324/.399/.586 with 39 home runs and 40 stolen bases. Last year, Kemp played in only 106 games. He hit .303/.367/.538 and clubbed 22 home runs. He started the season so hot, that many expected Kemp to win the MVP by the time the year was done. Unfortunately leg and shoulder injuries kept the two-time All-Star sidelined far too often.
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