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Posted at 05:06 PM ET, 05/31/2012

Dodgers CF Matt Kemp back on the DL after re-injuring hamstring


This turn around third was too much for Matt Kemp’s tender hammy. (Stephen Dunn - GETTY IMAGES)
At the end of April, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp looked like a legitimate triple crown contender and the front-runner for National League MVP.

One month later, the Dodgers are left wondering when their All-Star slugger will make it back onto the field.

Kemp re-injured his left hamstring on Wednesday, only one day after returning from a sting on the 15-day disabled list. Now he’s headed right back, and potentially for a longer stay.

Kemp felt the muscle tighten up while he rounded third to score on a first-inning double. He left the game immediately and did not return.

“It feels worse than the first time,” Kemp said. “It’s definitely nobody’s fault. It’s just what happens in sports — it’s what happens when you’re fast.”

Now the Dodgers have to hope Kemp uses that speed to get back onto the field sooner rather than later, but they won’t be taking any chances with the cornerstone of their franchise.

Kemp hit .417 in April with a league-leading 12 home runs and 25 RBI, but he was homer-less in 13 games this month. It’s unclear when he could return (he was scheduled to undergo an MRI Thursday), but when he does, it’s hard to know whether he’ll be the same player that hit 39 homers and stole 40 bases to finish runner-up in MVP voting last season.

The Dodgers must move on without their star.

“We’re not going to have a choice but to regroup and to step up,” skipper Don Mattingly told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s not going to be a time to feel sorry for ourselves. It would be easy to, but we’re not going to be able to. We can’t afford that.”

Los Angeles remains atop the National League West despite a three-game losing streak.

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