Kemp exits early with left shoulder irritation
Dodgers outfielder feels pain after swing, gets cortisone shot
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers believe outfielder Matt Kemp suffered more of a scare than an injury Friday night when he left the team's 10-2 win in the third inning after feeling a sharp pain in his surgically repaired left shoulder.
Kemp is listed as day to day after receiving a cortisone injection in his acromioclavicular joint, where the collarbone meets the shoulder, near but not specifically the same area where a torn labrum was surgically repaired last year. Kemp was examined by Giants doctor Ken Akizuki, who consulted with Dodgers surgeon Neal ElAttrache, and determined the pain Kemp felt was irritation of the joint and not to the labrum.
Kemp said he spoke with teammates who have also had labrum surgery -- Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez -- and was assured the popping sensation and pain he felt is a normal aftereffect of shoulder surgery.
"I felt something weird in my shoulder and it kind of scared me a little bit," said Kemp. "But others say it's pretty normal for labrum surgery, I heard from other players. The cortisone shot calmed it down. It was very scary. I never felt anything like that. Worse than running into the wall."
Of course, that's how Kemp was injured last year at Coors Field, the full force of his racing back for a line drive pinning his left arm against the wall. This time, the pain occurred in a second-inning at-bat on a swing and a miss. He dropped the bat at the end of the swing, grabbed the shoulder with his right hand and was attended to by athletic trainer Sue Falsone and manager Don Mattingly.
He took a practice swing and remained in the game to draw a walk and played defense in the bottom of the second. But when his spot came up again in the third inning, Carl Crawford pinch-hit.
"I took some swings in the cage [under the stands] and it hurt a lot," he said. "Right now, it feels good, but cortisone makes anything feel better. We'll see tomorrow and go from there. I definitely won't be playing tomorrow."
Crawford was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, prompting Mattingly to meet with his group of outfielders -- Kemp, Crawford, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig -- to explain how he intended to handle playing time.
Only a night earlier, after homering for the second consecutive game, Kemp said he was just starting to feel his swing return to normal after an arduous comeback from surgery.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.