Kemp's All-Star availability still in limbo

Kemp's All-Star availability still in limbo

Kemp's All-Star availability still in limbo
SAN FRANCISCO -- Every few days, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says outfielder Matt Kemp, currently on the disabled list, won't play in the All-Star Game if he hasn't first played in a Dodgers game, and he repeated that mandate Monday, with the All-Star Game 15 days away.

"If he hasn't played a game for us, it's hard to think of Matt playing his first game in the All-Star Game," said Mattingly, who has had that conversation with Kemp. "The home run contest, nobody has a problem with that. We're still a couple of weeks away before the break. But he hasn't played a rehab -- he's been out a long time. I think Matt feels the same way. To me, he says he wants to make sure he's healthy. We've talked about it when it comes up like this.

"We're talking about him playing for us before the break. We're talking about guessing when he'll be ready. It seems silly to me. He's not ready to play yet and we're talking about the All-Star Game. We're talking about practice."

Kemp has played one game since May 14 because of a left hamstring he strained twice. Mattingly said the club wants Kemp to play in five or six Minor League rehab games this time, because the two games he played in his last Minor League rehab didn't provide enough of a test to prevent him from blowing out worse on May 30.

Kemp has been the leading National League vote-getter in All-Star balloting this year and, as last year's home run champ, was named to captain the NL team in the Home Run Derby.

Mattingly said Kemp had another good workout Monday and "there's a chance he'll be going out to play some games," but Mattingly wouldn't give a time frame. He said he "hoped" it was before the All-Star break.

Kemp wouldn't even be eligible to play in the All-Star Game if he's still on the disabled list.

"He's got to be healthy or he can't play," said general manager Ned Colletti. "We'll have to see. No doubt he really wants to play."