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Matt Kemp to have MRI on ankle Friday

A positive report could clear Kemp to run and return to the field.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

GLENDALE -- Matt Kemp will have an MRI on his left ankle on Friday, a periodic and planned exam that could be the impetus for the Dodgers outfielder getting back out on the field.

Kemp has been able to hit with no problem all throughout camp, his power returned thanks to an offseason of being able to lift weights with his upper body, something he couldn't do last offseason following shoulder surgery. But Kemp has not yet been cleared to run outside of a specialized anti-gravity treadmill designed to limit impact on his ankle.

Kemp has been getting the left ankle examined roughly once a month, monitoring the progress since having microfracture surgery on the talus bone and removal of bone spurs and a loose body on Oct. 21 in North Carolina.

"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. But obviously we're hoping for a good report, to help him move forward," manager Don Mattingly said on Tuesday. "I'm sure he's getting tired of taking BP and not being with the rest of the guys."

Kemp has been ruled out for the Australia trip, and is a candidate to open the season on the disabled list. The Dodgers are allowed to backdate a DL stint to March 19, so if Kemp were to start on the 15-day disabled list the first game in which he would be eligible to play is the home opener on April 4 against the Giants.