GLENDALE -- Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp played in the field on Wednesday for the first time in 2014, an important step back in his attempt to return from ankle surgery in October.
Kemp played in an intrasquad game against Dodgers minor leaguers for the third time in four days. He went 0-for-6 at the plate, batting second every half-inning, but also played the equivalent of one inning in center field (Kemp played two half innings).
"I feel a little weird still but I'm having a lot of fun," Kemp said. "I'm excited to be back on the field just playing. It's a process."
Kemp has been increasing his activity during workouts, but still mostly limited to running in straight lines and before Wednesday not playing the field to avoid putting undue stress on his surgically repaired left ankle.
"My legs feel a little heavy, and tired at times, but that comes with getting back into shape, as far as being back out on the field," Kemp said. "You can lift as many weights as you want, but nothing compares to that game speed out there on the baseball field."
Kemp has been able to hit pretty much all spring, showing no ill effects from left shoulder surgery, also in October.
"I feel really good at the plate. Sometimes I'm a little quick, but hitting wise I'm where I need to be," Kemp said. "Now it's just playing defense, running bases, and getting the feel for being out there."
There is still no timetable for Kemp's return, though he is expected to remain in Arizona while the major league team heads to Australia. Kemp will likely see time in minor league games, which begin on Saturday.
"I'm definitely hungry, definitely ready to comeback. I just need to take my time, and take it day to day," Kemp said. "It's a process, it's a build up. Each time you get more and more and see where you are."
Craig Minami contributed greatly to this report.