Matt Kemp's recovery from shoulder surgery is progressing on schedule, the team reports. The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder tore his labrum running into the wall at Coors Field in late August and had arthroscopic surgery following the end of the season.
Kemp continued to play because the team still had a chance at a playoff spot, Dave Stewart, Kemp's agent, told MLB.com. "Nothing anybody could say or do could make him take time off," he said. That additional playing time may have made the injury worse, lengthening the recovery time required.
Stewart added that Kemp's exact return time is uncertain, though he was originally expected to be ready for opening day:
"Do we know for sure he'll be ready [for Opening Day]? In my opinion, no. But he has done all of the rehab. They wanted him to be pain-free, and he is. Now is the real strength-building process, starting to swing and throw. It's step by step."
Kemp finished the 2012 season batting .303 but was batting .337 when he got injured. He struck out 33 times following the injury, nearly a third of his total for the year. Had he finished at .337, it would have been a career-high for the seven-year veteran.