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Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford not expected to play until March

Both outfielders are recovering from surgery, and are expected to miss at least the first week of games in spring training.

Christian Petersen

The Dodgers open their spring training schedule on Saturday, Feb. 23 against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch, but a pair of starting outfielders aren't expected to play. Manager Don Mattingly on Monday said that both Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford would likely miss the first week or so of games as both are recovering from surgery.

"I know we were talking in general around the first of the month," Mattingly said, referring to when he and the medical staff expect both Kemp and Crawford to begin playing spring games.

Kemp had surgery to repair a labrum tear and clean up the rotator cuff in his left (non-throwing) shoulder on Oct. 5, while Crawford had Tommy John surgery on his left (throwing) elbow on Aug. 23, two days before he was traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers.

Mattingly said he would utilize the designated hitter in the early going during spring training, especially for Kemp and Crawford once they are cleared to play.

"We will be using the DH for those guys a little bit, to get them at-bats without having to play the field. Probably more Carl because Matt is able to throw and all that, though we don't want him running into a fence, diving or whatever."

Both outfielders have said their main goal is to be ready to play by opening day.

"I'm confident. Physically my body feels good," Crawford said on Feb. 12. "I'm still doing therapy with the elbow. I think I can hit the cutoff man by opening day, but I don't know if that's when they'll want me to come back."

"Spring training is to get ready for the season," Kemp said Friday. "My main concern is being ready for opening day, which I will be, and to be healthy and ready to go."