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Carl Crawford to begin rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Albuquerque

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Crawford last played on May 27 and is expected to play five or six games with the Isotopes.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday night with Triple-A Albuquerque, getting closer to returning after missing over five weeks with a left ankle sprain.

The Isotopes host the Las Vegas 51s, a Mets affiliate, in a split doubleheader on Saturday, with Game 1 at 11:05 a.m. PT and Game 2 at 6:05 p.m., a pair of seven-inning games. Crawford is expected to join Albuquerque to play in the second game.

"Five or six games, at least that," manager Don Mattingly told reporters in Denver on Friday, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "Through Detroit for sure, then we'll see where everything is. It's been a while, over a month for Carl. But when Carl is ready, he'll be back."

The Dodgers have Monday off, then play the Tigers for two days in Detroit, followed by a four-game series against the Padres in Los Angeles heading into the All-Star break.

Crawford last played on May 27, when he sprained his ankle running down a double in the left field corner at Dodger Stadium. Crawford is hitting .267/.293/.400 with four home runs and nine steals in 44 games. He was hot in May, hitting .362/.389/.565 in 20 games before getting hurt.

In Crawford's absence, Matt Kemp started 35 straight games in left field, hitting .264/.322/.426 with eight doubles, three home runs, two triples and 18 RBI. Kemp got a rest day on Friday night in Denver after an 0-for-14 stretch, though he did walk and score the winning run in the ninth inning in Thursday's series opener at Coors Field.

The Isotopes are home through Thursday, July 10, including a four-game series beginning Monday with El Paso, a Padres affiliate.