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Mattingly hopeful Kemp will return for 10-12 games

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp hasn't played with the Dodgers since July, but manager Don Mattingly is optimistic the injured center fielder will be back in the Majors before the end of the regular season.

"I'm starting to feel that way, yeah," Mattingly said Tuesday afternoon. "I think everybody is pretty positive that he's on a pretty good track."

Kemp's rehab from a sprained left ankle was slowed last week by tightness in his right hamstring, but Mattingly said he's been encouraged by the medical reports he's received. Kemp hasn't tested his hamstring by running the bases, but he's getting at-bats in simulated games at the Dodgers' Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

But for Kemp to be included in the Dodgers' plans for the postseason, he would have to play several games in the big leagues this month.

"It would be nice to be able to see 10-12 games," Mattingly said. "I believe there's a possibility of that."

Kemp had 10 at-bats in a simulated game Tuesday, Mattingly said.

"It sounded like he swung the bat really well," the manager said. "I think he was like 6-for-10 with four homers or something like that, something crazy. He's obviously feeling better."

In other injury news, Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday after being scratched Friday because of back stiffness. Ryu threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Sunday in Cincinnati.

"He's been good the last few days," Mattingly said. "Ever since the bullpen, he's been fine. No complaints."

Chris Capuano is scheduled to test his strained left groin Wednesday. The left-hander won't throw, but he'll get on a mound and go through his delivery to test the groin. If that goes well, Mattingly said Capuano would throw a bullpen session Thursday and would then be slotted into the rotation or moved to a relief role.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for
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