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05/31/12 9:30 PM ET
Dodgers lose Kemp for at least four weeks
By Alex Angert / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring on Thursday and team trainer Sue Falsone determined he'd need at least four weeks to recover. Kemp injured his leg scoring from first on Andre Ethier's double on Wednesday night in his second game back from the disabled list with an injury to the same hamstring. He said after Wednesday's game that it felt worse this time around compared to earlier in the month when he first hit the DL. "He has a little swelling in the same area, as well as new questions in a different part a little bit higher," she said. "Both are grade one. Obviously it will be a little more from a rehab standpoint. Grade one is the lowest grade, not a lot of muscle tear." Falsone added she doesn't think the old strain caused this new one, as this is a new injury in a different area. "Looking at the replay, he was slowing down going into third and the ball was bobbled and he re-accelerated," Falsone said. "In rehab, you just can't mimic game speed. He had him running as hard as you can and move laterally and run the bases, but no matter what, you can't mimic the adrenaline of game speed." Falsone said the team has benchmarks and milestones when a player is hurt, and Kemp achieved all of those before returning to play. He was sent to the DL on May 14 and activated on May 29. He went 1-for-4 with a double in his first game back and drew a first-inning walk on Wednesday before exiting the game in frustration. "He'll have the same things again, the same rigors, we'll just take longer to do it," she said. "We expect four weeks this time. But you can't always control these things." She added the team is going to treat him and not a timetable. Manager Don Mattingly echoed that sentiment. "We thought he was ready to roll, and we wouldn't have thrown him out there if we didn't think he was 100 percent and if he didn't think he was 100 percent," Mattingly said. "We want to make sure as much as we possibly can that Matt is healthy." Kemp arrived in the clubhouse at 4:15 p.m. PT on Thursday before the Dodgers faced the Brewers, dropped his bags off and left immediately. The team went 9-5 in his absence and will need to regroup again now that he's expected to miss more time. "I think we were able to find out we were pretty resilient for a couple of weeks when Matt was out and guys stepped up and did their thing, and we're going to have to do it again," Mattingly said. "It's kind of the time of the year that I think we'll learn more. You learn more about a team and what kind of character they have and if we are going to bend and not break, and we'll see what happens." The ability to carry on without Kemp the first time around has given players on the team confidence they'll be able to push through again. "We learned that we can play without Matt and play well without Matt," said Tony Gwynn, who replaced Kemp in center field on Wednesday night. "If we had our way, would we want to play without him? Absolutely not. Unfortunately, the schedule doesn't stop when guys like him go down. Things go on."
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.