Last season, Kemp strained his left hamstring and missed more than two months during two stints on the disabled list. But he said this injury does not feel as severe.
"It's not as bad as last year," said Kemp, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before the injury. "But when you feel it grab and it feels like that, you've got to take it easy and make sure you're careful with it because it can get worse."
Kemp said the injury occurred when he pursued a double in the right-field gap by Angels outfielder Mike Trout. Kemp signaled to assistant athletic trainer Nancy Patterson, and after a brief conversation in the outfield at Angel Stadium he was removed from the game, though he admitted he likely would have stayed in the game as a younger player.
"I'd rather maybe miss a couple days or whatever and not miss a month like I did last year," he said.
Kemp said he does not know how long he could be sidelined, and manager Don Mattingly did not offer a timetable either.
"I shouldn't say it, but anytime you hear the dreaded hamstring word, usually it lasts a little bit," Mattingly said. "Hopefully Matt caught himself before he got it good, so we'll see."
It's been a difficult season already for Kemp, hitting .251 with two homers and 17 RBIs. He had offseason surgery on his left shoulder and experienced numbness in his right arm on Tuesday after he was hit by a pitch on his right elbow.
"It's frustrating, but injuries are a part of the game," Kemp said. "I've just got to keep working, get better and get back to it."
Skip Schumaker replaced Kemp in center field, and Mattingly said the veteran would be a short-term option if Kemp were sidelined for an extended period.
"Obviously we're going to have to have a guy that plays center," Mattingly said of any potential replacements from the Minor Leagues. "But we haven't got there."