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Matt Kemp injury: Dodgers star begins rehab program in Arizona

The star center fielder of the Los Angeles Dodgers began a rehab program in Arizona on Wednesday after left shoulder surgery just two days after the completion of the regular season. Kemp expects to be ready to play by spring training.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Kemp began his rehab program in Arizona on Wednesday, as the Los Angeles Dodgers star center fielder recovers from Oct. 5 surgery on his left shoulder. The procedure required a repair of a torn labrum, and was much more invasive than originally surmised.

"I was definitely surprised and definitely disappointed," Kemp said on Wednesday. "I wish it just would have been a simple cleanup, which would have taken only about six weeks. Now, after the repair, it will be January before I get to hit and do a lot of other things."

Kemp suffered the injury while running into the center field wall against the Rockies at Coors Field in Denver on Aug. 28. He missed two games, then returned to the lineup and hit just .215/.267/.420 for the rest of the season. Kemp played through the pain, which he said affected his swing in the final month.

"I asked the doctors before I was playing, if I could damage it any more than it had already been damaged, and they said no," Kemp said. "When they went in there (for the surgery), they were surprised I kept playing, because it was worse than they thought."

Kemp won't be able to swing a bat until January, but he said it won't affect his readiness for opening day, on Apr. 1 against the Giants.

"I'm not concerned. As long as I do my rehab right I know I'll be able to be back to where I want to be, capable of doing what I'm doing to help my team win," Kemp said. "They said I should be ready by spring training, so (I'll play) before opening day."