Matt Kemp's recovery going slowly

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp was walking around the clubhouse with a visible limp Wednesday afternoon, nine days after he sprained his left ankle sliding into home plate in Washington.

His return from the injury has gone more slowly than the Dodgers had anticipated. Swelling remains considerable and Kemp has yet to resume running. He is eligible to return from the disabled list on Aug. 6 in St. Louis, but the team made that sound highly unlikely. It could be weeks before he returns.

"It sounds like it's going to be a little longer," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's not going quite as fast as we'd hoped."

Kemp's slow recovery has alleviated one hassle -- what to do with four highly paid, veteran outfielders -- but it's yet another blow to Kemp's reputation for durability. He had appeared in a major league-high 399 consecutive games before sitting out a May 14, 2012, game because of a sore hamstring. He missed 51 games last season because of hamstring injuries, and he has already missed 43 games this year with three different injuries.

"By the time we have the four [outfielders] you're referring to, we'll be a few weeks from the end," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "And then we'll have two left-handed hitters and two right-handed hitters. Guys are going to need a break here and there.

"It's like the eight starting pitchers [the Dodgers began the season with]. What are you going to do with all these pitchers? How you going to find time for them? Then on the 21st of April we're on No. 9."

The Dodgers were hoping the return of Kemp's bat could add fuel to the fire sparked by the arrivals of Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez. In the first two months of this season, the Dodgers averaged 3.5 runs per game. Since Ramirez's return (the day after Puig's arrival), the Dodgers are averaging a full run per game more.

Here are lineups for Wednesday's game with the New York Yankees:

New York

1. Brett Gardner CF

2. Derek Jeter SS

3. Robinson Cano 2B

4. Alfonso Soriano LF

5. Vernon Wells RF

6. Brent Lillibridge 1B

7. Jayson Nix 3B

8. Chris Stewart C

9. Hiroki Kuroda RHP


1. Carl Crawford LF

2. Yasiel Puig RF

3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B

4. Hanley Ramirez SS

5. Andre Ethier CF

6. A.J. Ellis C

7. Skip Schumaker 2B

8. Juan Uribe 3B

9. Clayton Kershaw LHP