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Kemp improving as time to rehab runs short

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp had a productive day testing his sprained left ankle on Friday, and the Dodgers are holding out hope the outfielder can start a rehab assignment before Minor League seasons end the first week of September.

Kemp, on the disabled list for the third time this season, tested his ankle running and making turns. He also took a few rounds of early batting practice, with hitting coach Mark McGwire feeding the pitching machine.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly watched Kemp's workout and was encouraged by what he saw.

"They said that was the best he's ran," Mattingly said. "You still see a hitch now and then on certain steps and when he's slowing down. He's getting better, but he's not there yet."

Kemp said last week he wanted to play in a few rehab games, and there's still a chance that could happen.

"I'm hoping he can get in to a game or two," Mattingly said. "If not, we'll have to work something else out and set some stuff up."

Kemp injured his ankle in an awkward slide at the plate July 21 in Washington and has not played since. He's been limited to 62 games this season.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for
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