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Matt Kemp not expected to return until September

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The center fielder's ankle sprain isn't healing as expected, and Kemp is expected to miss at least another month.

Maybe Eric Davis rubbed off on Matt Kemp in more ways than one.
Maybe Eric Davis rubbed off on Matt Kemp in more ways than one.
Harry How

Matt Kemp is eligible to be activated from the disabled list as early as Tuesday, Aug. 6, but it appears the left ankle sprain will keep the Dodgers center fielder out for much longer than previously expected. Kemp could be out until September, per multiple reports.

Kemp has only been able to play catch and hit off a tee since twisting his ankle on home plate on July 21 against in Washington D.C. against the Nationals, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

By the time we have the four all ready to play, we'll be a few weeks from the end [of the season]," general manager Ned Colletti said.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Kemp would not be activated when he's eligible Aug. 6, and the club does not have a timetable for his return.

"It sounds like it's going to be a little longer," manager Don Mattingly said, per Mark Saxon of ESPN LA. "It's not going quite as fast as we'd hoped."

Kemp's latest injury occurred in his first day back from the disabled list for pain in the AC joint in his left shoulder. That July 21 game against the Nationals marked the only time this season that Kemp, Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez started in the same game.

It has been an injury-plagued season for Kemp, who is hitting just .263/.319/.382 with five home runs in 62 games, though he does have home runs in three of his last four games, spread over a month.

Kemp also missed time with a right hamstring strain earlier this season and has been on the DL five different times over the last two seasons, and that doesn't even include his struggles in the first two months of 2013 after major offseason sugery on his left shoudler. Since his streak of 399 consecutive games played — at the time the longest active streak in MLB — ended in May 2012, Kemp has started just 131 of 234 games (55.6%).