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Matt Kemp injury: Dodgers CF could return Monday, might be healthiest outfielder

Kemp will rejoin the Dodgers on Monday in Arizona, but will Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier be ready to return?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp will join the Dodgers on Monday in Phoenix for early workouts at Chase Field, and if everything goes well the center fielder could be activated before the team opens a four-game series against the Diamondbacks. But Kemp, out since July 21, might be the healthiest of the four main Dodgers outfielders.

The trio of Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford are all sitting on Sunday, all officially day-to-day but dealing with nagging injuries that may keep them out longer.

Puig has tightness in his left hip, something he dealt with in July as well. Mattingly was quite vague regarding Puig in a rather bizarre meeting with reporters before the game.

"I'm thinking somewhere between 7-10 days for him. Maybe two weeks or three, I don't know," Mattingly said. "Or it could be tomorrow."

When pressed, Mattingly said he was joking a bit, referring to his earlier predictions that injuries would be minor that end up in disabled list stints, specifically with Kemp Crawford.

"It's just what I'm feeling. I'm going with one of my feelings again," Mattingly quipped. "It's just a pretty big window for me to be right. That would be a first this year."

Mattingly did say Puig's injury wasn't serious enough to require an MRI, and it's quite possible he could return to the lineup on Monday.

"I kind of thought he would play today, but what do I know?" Mattingly said.

Kemp will participate in workouts with the team on Monday afternoon at Chase Field, and if all goes well he could be activated from the disabled list. Kemp went on the DL with a sprained ankle and compounded that with right hamstring tightness while rehabbing at Camelback Ranch in Arizona.

"We'll see him tomorrow. He'll be at the ballpark tomorrow working out early with us, running, doing the bases and doing all that," Mattingly said. "I've been told that depending on where he's at, it could be tomorrow. I don't know. Obviously we want him to be healthy."

Kemp has been hitting in simulated game situations against Dodgers minor league pitchers and has started running again as well. Sunday is an off day for him before joining the Dodgers on Monday. But just because Kemp could be activated doesn't mean he will start and be thrown in the fire right away.

"I haven't gotten that far yet," Mattingly said.

Mattingly didn't have an exact timetable for Ethier or Crawford to return but said Ethier is feeling better and guessed a few days for Crawford.

"[Carl] needs a day today for sure. We'll see," Mattingly said. "It's something we've dealt with here and there. Usually it's a day or two."

Hanley Ramirez, out with an irritated nerve in his back, is already pushing to get back into the lineup, and Mattingly said he would like to have Ramirez back as soon as possible. Though at least for Sunday, it is unlikely that Ramirez, Puig, Ethier or Crawford will be available to pinch hit.

Game info

Time: 1:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

1:10 p.m.: Colorado at Arizona - Gameday