Ken Gurnick reports that Matt Kemp is ahead of schedule in his recovery from his October shoulder surgery, and that Kemp should be back in time for Spring Training. Gurnick also adds that he Kemp should be in the starting lineup on Opening Day. Kemp has reported that he is still feeling soreness in the shoulder he injured after his collision with the Coors field outfield wall.
“That’s my goal,” said Kemp. “I’m hitting off the tee, no soft toss yet. I have my good days and bad days. It’s still a little sore. But being ready for the season is all that matters.”
I still don’t get why the coaches and training staff didn’t shut him down after the injury. This is obviously the downside to players wanting to play through injuries they shouldn’t and coaches allowing them to do it. Isn’t that the purpose of the coaches and training staff? I get that the Dodgers were pushing hard for the playoffs, I thought that it was a bad idea at the time, after much time to reflect it wasn’t a bad idea, it was a really bad idea.
“I couldn’t shut it down,” Kemp said. “They told me to shut it down and think about surgery — or at least rest. But I just couldn’t do it. I had to continue and play. That’s what I do. I can’t sit and watch.”
Carl Crawford is progressing well after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August. Crawford has begun baseball activities and could be back as soon as the beginning of Spring Training. That’s well ahead of the May-July timetable that was originally reported. Whispers emerged towards the end of the season that there was a small chance he could be ready by Opening Day, and it looks like that isn’t as much of a longshot at this point.
Scott Elbert underwent a second elbow surgery on January 23rd. Elbert will be able to resume throwing in six weeks. His availability for Opening Day is not looking probable. This opens up the door for J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, and Ted Lilly, to get ahead of Elbert on the depth chart, if they weren’t ahead of him already.
Speaking of Ted Lilly, who is progressing very well from his left shoulder surgery back in September. Lilly has been throwing for several weeks as of Dec. 5, and he is expected to be fully ready by Spring Training.
In other pitching injury updates; Clayton Kershaw is in a full running program for his right hip soreness. He is expected to be fully ready near the beginning of Spring Training. Chad Billingsley is still recovering from his partially torn right elbow ligament injury. We heard some positive things in November after he hit 94mph on the radar gun.
Today, Ken Gurnick provided an update on Billingsley, who is reportedly feeling “absolutely great.” Everything has progressed as planned with no setbacks. Updating yesterday’s post, it’s quite possible that Billingsley makes an appearance during Spring Training. My expectations will not be very high for Billingsley in 2013. I don’t see how you can fully recover from a partially torn elbow ligament without having Tommy John surgery. I fully expect Billingsley to start out well but miss some time, perhaps even having to shut it down and have surgery at some point. Time will tell, but hopefully the plasma injection works, and the Dodgers can capitalize on their pitching depth.