Injury Roll Call: Kemp & SVS rehab, but Carl lags behind + Lilly improving

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Matt Kemp has gone on a rehab assignment in Triple-A Albuquerque.

The Dodgers got some good news as center fielder Matt Kemp will begin a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday, the team announced before their second game against the Padres at Petco Park on Friday.

Kemp, who hadn’t been able to run at full speed yet during his recovery, ran the bases on Friday, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, which as Gurnick noted was the final hurdle before Kemp could be cleared to begin his rehab assignment. Kemp, who is anxious to return to play, was understandably happy with the news.

The Dodgers have been happy with Kemp’s baserunning and batting practice sessions.

Kemp went 0-for-5 as designated hitter, but also stole a base and scored from second on a single. He was scheduled to play the outfield Sunday, and Mattingly said Kemp would play at least one more game for the Isotopes, but his stint there could be extended if necessary.

“Is his timing back to game speed? It doesn’t sound like it,” said Mattingly. “But if it takes two, three, four games, or if it has to be five or six, just so when he comes back, he feels like he can be competitive.”

Mattingly said Kemp would abandon a new set of contact lenses that bothered him in the game after using them successfully during an impressive batting practice session Thursday in San Diego. Mattingly said the carry and loft of Kemp’s blasts Thursday were the best Kemp had shown in a while.

Mattingly said the reports were that Kemp ran well and willingly Saturday night, not favoring the right hamstring that has sidelined him for three weeks.

A healthy Kemp could mean the difference between a late run and disaster, so let’s hope he’s ready to go.

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Carl Crawford is recovering without incident, but still has trouble when he has to turn while running.

Carl Crawford continues to improve from his strained left hamstring, able to run straight but feeling discomfort on turns.

“I assume Carl is behind Matt,” Mattingly said.

The outfield will get very interesting when Kemp and Crawford return.

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Andre Ethier has some swelling in his knee. The issue forced him out of Friday’s starting lineup.

“The knee has a little swelling and we’ve asked a lot of him,” said Mattingly, who pressed Ethier into center-field duty with Matt Kemp sidelined. “He needs a day. He and Puig ran together in Pittsburgh and he hit the wall, but I don’t know if that was necessarily it.”

He’s been playing regularly since, so he seems fine.

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Scott Van Slyke is rehabbing his left shoulder bursitis in Albuquerque.

Van Slyke, on the DL since June 11 with left shoulder bursitis, went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and committed a pair of throwing errors playing first base.

He’ll reportedly return to the bigs and not AAA when he’s activated.

Scott Van Slyke, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque along with Matt Kemp, is expected to return to the Dodgers and not the Isotopes when he’s healthy, manager Don Mattingly indicated Sunday.

As it should be.

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Ted Lilly threw a bullpen session as he rehabs his strained neck.

Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly threw his first bullpen session Saturday since being placed on the disabled list June 5 with a neck strain.

Lilly threw all fastballs and reported no discomfort in the neck, which responded well to an epidural injection.

He is already eligible to come off the DL, but needs to throw several more bullpen sessions and go on a Minor League rehab assignment before he can rejoin the big league club.

I assume he would replace Stephen Fife, though it remains to be seen whether he would be an actual upgrade or not.

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Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke and find him contributing at Yahoo! Sports.

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