Matt Kemp has MRI, Dodgers expect results during weekend

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers await word on whether or not their center fielder can return to the field.

GLENDALE -- Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp had the periodic MRI exam on his left ankle on Thursday, one day earlier than expected, but as the team heads into the weekend the only contest Kemp is cleared to play is the waiting game.

This is not any new injury for Kemp, but rather just a regular checkup to see if his ankle is ready for him to begin running and be cleared for all baseball activities.

Kemp had the MRI on Thursday and the results were sent to Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles and to Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina, the doctor who performed microfracture surgery on Kemp's ankle in October.

Manager Don Mattingly said on Friday that the team would get the report from ElAttrache and Anderson either Saturday or Sunday.

Thus far in spring training Kemp has been limited to batting practice and taking ground balls in the outfield. He did both on Friday. Kemp hasn't yet been cleared to run, except on an anti-gravity treadmill which keeps pressure off the ankle.

Kemp will almost certainly miss the opening two games in Australia, and his status for the domestic opener on March 30 is still in question. If the team places him on the disabled list to open the season it can be backdated to March 19, meaning Kemp could be activated as early as April 4, the home opener and sixth game of the season for the Dodgers.

If Kemp is ready, that is. On Tuesday Mattingly said that even once Kemp is cleared to return to the field, there will be a progression before he is able to play in games.

"I'm not quite sure what it will allow us to do. I'm not 100% sure if this will be a green light to go do whatever. I'm assuming once we get the green light to go forward, it's still going to be a progression to get him ready," Mattingly said. "But obviously we're hoping for a good report, to help him move forward. I'm sure he's getting tired of taking BP and not being with the rest of the guys."

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