Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is set to begin a minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday, manager Don Mattingly told reporters (including Bill Shaikin) Friday afternoon in San Diego.
The plan, according to Mattingly, is to have Kemp serve as the designated hitter Saturday and then play two to three games in the field. After that, assuming no setbacks, Kemp would return to the Dodgers lineup. So by the middle of next week is a possibility.
Kemp has been on the shelf since May 30 with a right hamstring strain, and also note that he had shoulder surgery last October. Not only that, but Yasiel Puig has emerged as an exciting young player with Kemp out, so these three weeks of rest for Kemp may end up a huge benefit in the long run for both Kemp and the Dodgers.
Kemp, 28, is hitting .251/.305/.335 with just two homers and 17 RBI in 51 games this season. This is the same man who hit .324/.399/.586 with 39 homers, 126, RBI, 115 runs and 40 stolen bases in 2011, good for second in NL MVP voting.