Matt Kemp’s hopes for a simple surgery on his left shoulder were dashed when the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger awoke to learn things were worse than doctors had first thought.
Kemp was in Arizona on Wednesday to begin rehabbing from the Oct. 5 surgery that repaired a torn labrum and damage to the rotator cuff, injuries resulting from a crash into the center field wall at Coors Field on Aug. 27.
“I was definitely surprised and definitely disappointed,” he told reporters by phone in his first public comments since the surgery. “I wish it would have just been a simple cleanup. It’s going to take close to January before I can hit and do a lot of other things.”
Doctors have said Kemp should be ready by spring training. He has been biking and walking on a treadmill since the surgery, and will now step up his rehab program.
Kemp missed 51 games earlier in the season with a strained left hamstring, and then chose to play through the shoulder pain to finish the season.
“I already asked the doctors if I could damage it any more than it was damaged and they said no, so I kept playing,” he said. “When they went in there, they were surprised I was still playing because it was worse than what they had thought.”
Kemp clearly wasn’t the same player after hitting the wall. He was batting .337 before the injury. Afterward, he hit .214 while the team also struggled, finishing nine games behind N.L. West champ San Francisco.
Clearing the bases
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