It's official. Matt Kemp will begin his minor league rehab assignment tonight. The Los Angeles Dodgers' outfielder has made enough progress on his injured ankle to move on to the next step in his recovery. He will be penciled in as Rancho Cucamonga's designated hitter tonight.
Austin Laymance of MLB.com says Mattingly was noncommittal, but Kemp would be playing in his first rehab game tonight. Mattingly said that he believed Kemp had passed all his tests, so he could move on to the next step. The team had been waiting to see how Kemp's ankle responded to a second day of running the bases and running in the outfield. He did both yesterday, and the ankle responded well.
Rancho Cucamonga's season ends Monday, so Kemp could be back with the Dodgers by early next week. He would be returning to a team with a firm grasp on first place looking to put distance between themselves and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kemp's season has been severely limited by injuries, so he and the Dodgers are excited for his eventual return.
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