Matt Kemp nearing Cactus League debut

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Matt Kemp has begun running at full speed and participating in daily outfield drills in Dodgers camp, and he could soon be cleared to become a regular in the club’s Cactus League starting lineups.

“We’re seeing him take fly balls, getting jumps,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick on Saturday. “He’s swinging the bat good. It won’t be long before he’s in a game.”

Kemp is on his way back from October surgery for his left ankle and left shoulder. He appeared in just 73 games during the 2013 regular season.

The 29-year-old center fielder can be ruled out for the Dodgers’ season-opening two-game set (March 22-23) against the Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia, but the hope is that he will be nearly 100 percent when the Dodgers begin a series against the Padres back in the United States on March 30.