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Dodgers waiting for Howie Kendrick to be 100 percent before his return

Kendrick last played on Aug. 9.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are being cautious with Howie Kendrick, who is still rehabbing his left hamstring strain at the club's facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., but still not participating in baseball activities.

"Yesterday was a positive day. We're going to be cautious with Howie," manager Don Mattingly said. "When he's able to get to full speed then he's going to start playing some games, but we're not there yet."

Kendrick suffered the hamstring injury on Aug. 9 in Pittsburgh, and Wednesday night is his 21st game missed.

"He's still not 100 percent," Mattingly said. "When Howie gets here, we want him to be able to stay. We're looking for Howie to be healthy, be 100 percent, and be Howie when he gets here."

Kendrick is hitting .296/.341/.418 on the season with nine home runs and 20 doubles in 105 games.

Wednesday night is the ninth start at second base for Chase Utley in the last 11 games, and the veteran infielder also continued to take grounders at third base, where he will back up Justin Turner once Kendrick returns. The plan is for Kendrick to resume regular duties at second base, with Utley occasionally spelling him. But there is no definitive timetable just yet.

"We'd rather not set a time, just because if we get to a date and he's still not here it's an issue," Mattingly said. "We're just letting Howie get ready."

Minor league regular seasons end on Monday, but with Triple-A Oklahoma City and Class-A Rancho Cucamonga playoff-bound, there might be extended opportunities for Kendrick to play in rehab games. If not, Mattingly said the plan would be for Kendrick to get extended at-bats in simulate game situations from pitchers at Camelback Ranch.

"As long as somebody's playing, that's where he'll play," Mattingly said. "We've got to get him to 100 percent first, then we'll deal with that."