(NEW YORK) — If the Los Angeles Dodgers hope to make it back to the playoffs this season, they’ll need a healthy Matt Kemp. Kemp is hoping to be ready to play by Opening Day.
Back in October, Kemp’s left, non-throwing shoulder required surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff damage. Kemp’s status for Opening Day had been up in the air, but Kemp declared that he’ll be ready to go when the season begins.
“That’s my goal,” Kemp told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. “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.”
Kemp also declared himself “ahead of schedule” and think he’ll be able to play in the team’s first game of the season on April 1. He did also admit that he will most likely not be 100 percent for the start of the season whether he plays or not.
When healthy, the 28-year old Kemp is one of the best outfielders in baseball. In 106 games last season, Kemp hit .303 with 23 home runs and 69 RBIs.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire