Dodgers slugger Kemp to have surgery for first time

Thu Oct 4, 2012 5:20pm EDT

The National League's Matt Kemp, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, reacts in the first round of Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona July 11, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Poroy

The National League's Matt Kemp, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, reacts in the first round of Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona July 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Poroy

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(Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp, who enhanced his 'ironman' reputation by playing through shoulder pain to finish the regular season, will have surgery for the first time in his seven-year career on Friday.

The two-time All-Star, who damaged his left shoulder when he slammed into the center-field wall during an August game at Colorado, is expected to be sidelined for at least four to six weeks, the team said on Thursday.

Should extensive repair to Kemp's labrum be necessary, the 28-year-old could be out of action for up to three months but would still be ready for the start of spring training.

"Of course I'm nervous," Kemp, who won both the Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger awards in 2009 and 2011, told the team's website. "I've never had surgery before."

Kemp, who missed 51 games this year because of a left hamstring issue, hit .303 with 23 home runs and 69 runs batted in this season.

His hamstring injury ended a run of 399 consecutive games played which was the longest active streak in the major league at the time.

The Dodgers (86-76) missed the postseason for a third straight year despite strengthening their roster with a series of blockbuster trades, after being pipped to the National League's final playoff spot by the St. Louis Cardinals.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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