Kemp gets cortisone shot in left shoulder

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp received a cortisone injection in his inflamed left shoulder Saturday and hopes he will return as soon as Tuesday against Arizona.

The Dodgers said before Saturday’s win at San Francisco that Kemp would miss at least the final two games of this weekend’s key series because of his troublesome left shoulder.

“I hope it’s only a two-day thing and I’m back out there the third day,” he said. “I wish this wasn’t going on right now but injuries are a part of the game. They’ve definitely been part of my game this whole year. I’m not saying it’s something I’ve gotten used to, just something that I’ve had to deal with. Try to figure out things.”

Kemp underwent an MRI exam Saturday using dye contrasting to give doctors a better idea of where he is hurt. There was some fraying of the labrum but nothing serious in terms of structural damage, athletic trainer Sue Falsone said.

“We’re confident that that’s going to help,” she said, noting at this stage there have been no discussions of potential surgery. “I don’t think we’re anywhere near looking at a worst-case scenario. We feel very confident that his inflammation is going to come down with the cortisone injection and rest, and we’ll see him again on Tuesday. We’re not talking anything surgical right now.”

His shoulder is still bothering him from a crash into the outfield wall Aug. 28 at Coors Field. The collision could have irritated the labrum

Kemp did need some sedation to stay inside the claustrophobic MRI tube for a prolonged period after going in head first.

“I’m cool, I’m nice,” he said with a grin, still a little bit out of it.

Manager Don Mattingly expects Kemp to return this season. The injury affects Kemp at the plate and the Dodgers wanted to find out exactly what was wrong.

“We lost him at least temporarily, we know that,” Mattingly said before the game. “The shoulder with Matt has kind of gotten to the point where we need to find out exactly what it is.”

The Dodgers had planned to do further tests during Thursday’s off day but Kemp was concerned about missing a couple of days in a crucial stretch, Mattingly said. Because of the shot for the dye to be inserted, players typically need a couple of days to recover.

“I think he’s come to the realization he needs to make sure what this is, and we’ll go from there,” Mattingly said. “He didn’t want to miss any days, which is admirable. But we still need to find out really what’s going on with this.

“I talked to him the other day about it. I appreciate him wanting to play and wanting to be tough and go out there, but at some point you’ve got to be able to be honest and say, `Either I can help the team or I can’t help the team.’ If it’s hurting him to swing the bat and do some things, it doesn’t do us any good for him to be out there.”

Kemp, last season’s runner-up to Ryan Braun for the NL MVP, is batting .315 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 85 games. In the game at Colorado, he ran into the wall trying to track down a triple by Josh Rutledge. Kemp turned into the padding while running full speed and fell backward onto the warning track. He stayed down for several minutes as team trainers checked him over. He got up, took a drink of water and initially stayed in the game.

Kemp went 0 for 5 with an RBI and a strikeout on Friday night. He already had two stints on the disabled list this season before the All-Star break with a strained left hamstring. Kemp is hitting .290 (58 for 200) with six home runs and 28 RBIs in 49 games since coming off the DL.

“Most of the time I’m used to having injuries and finding out ways to play and still be successful,” Kemp said. “As you can see, going out there and trying to hit the ball has been pretty hard. The shoulder’s been hurting. I’ll try to get it better now. I don’t want to hurt my team being out there not being able to do anything.”

Infielder Adam Kennedy is likely done for the year after injuring his groin during Friday’s 5-2 loss. Mattingly said Kennedy was hurt when the third baseman tried to barehand Hunter Pence’s infield bouncer for an RBI single in the sixth inning.

“He felt something pop,” Mattingly said. “I haven’t heard anything definitive about whether he’s going to play again or not, but it doesn’t sound very good.”

Falsone said Kennedy had strained the groin “pretty significantly” and that he was having a tough time walking Saturday.

“Just go out and play. No excuses,” right fielder Andre Ethier said of playing without Kemp and Kennedy. “You can’t have any excuses in this game.”