Matt Kemp is at least two days away from beginning a minor-league rehabilitation assignment after running the bases at close to full speed Tuesday.
“I was a little skeptical. It turned out to be really, really good,” Kemp said. “It was pretty fun to go out there and run. It’s been a while.”
Kemp has been on the disabled list since sustaining what is believed to be a severe Grade 2 ankle sprain on July 21. Running the bases at game speed was the most significant milestone Kemp needed to clear before he could be sent out.
There was some question as to when and where Kemp’s rehab stint would begin, but that was cleared up with his positive prognosis Tuesday.
“I’m not going to the spring training complex,” Kemp said. “I’ll go to Rancho (Cucamonga) or wherever they send me, but I’ll be around here in Cali somewhere.”
Kemp will run the bases again tomorrow and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said his rehab stint could begin as early as Thursday. The Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes will play home games Thursday through Monday to end their regular season.
How many games will he need to get ready?
“I know when I’m ready,” Kemp said. “Can’t put a number on any of that.”
Kemp looked plenty fast on the bases Tuesday but sounded as if he’s still got a little speed to give. “I’m definitely getting there,” he said.
More importantly, he didn’t feel any pain.
“I was scared — not scared, just a little hesitant,” Kemp said. “Getting out there and running for the first time, you don’t know what to expect. You don’t know what it’s going to feel like — certain cuts and things like that, how you’re going to respond. It went better than I thought it would.
“Everything felt pretty much normal. In the back of my mind I’m like, ‘I pretty much just sprained my ankle,’ so you’re kind of like taking it easy, but I felt really normal after the third or fourth time so I just let it go.”