Kemp's All-Star status comes down to timing

Kemp's All-Star status comes down to timing

Kemp's All-Star status comes down to timing
OAKLAND -- The clock is ticking on Matt Kemp being healthy enough to play in the All-Star Game.

Kemp is the National League leading vote-getter and a slam dunk to win a starting spot through fan balloting. But except for one game, he's also been on the disabled list twice since May 14 with a strained hamstring. His recovery is going nicely, as it did the first time, only for him to blow a tire his first game back.

The July 10 All-Star Game in Kansas City (350 miles from his Oklahoma hometown) is three weeks away. When Kemp was reinjured May 29, the prognosis was a month on the shelf. Trainer Sue Falsone still holds to the vague timetable of a return "around the All-Star break."

She also said on Tuesday, however, that the club wants Kemp to have a longer Minor League rehab assignment than the two games he played before his May 29 activation.

Manager Don Mattingly repeated Tuesday a previously expressed desire that Kemp would be healthy enough to play in Major League games for the Dodgers before making an All-Star appearance. The last thing anybody in the organization wants is for Kemp to rush back to play in the All-Star Game, break down for a third time and jeopardize the team's chances.

Kemp is captain of the NL team in the Home Run Derby and is expected to participate in that competition regardless.

"The All-Star Game is a discussion we need to have," Mattingly said. "It's a tough call if he's not able to play in a game for us. I know he'd like to play. We'll talk as an organization and talk to Matt."