GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The answer is not enlightening at all. But that somehow captures center fielder Matt Kemp's situation.
"I'll be ready when I'm ready," Kemp said of his recovery from surgery last October to repair a damaged talus bone in his left ankle. "When I'm ready to play, I'll play. If not, I'm not going to play."
The ankle surgery was the more serious of two operations Kemp had last fall. He also had a follow-up procedure on his left shoulder, which underwent more serious surgery following the 2012 season.
Kemp admits now he was not ready to return from the original shoulder surgery when he started playing last April. The results reflected that and Kemp said he will not make the same mistake this time around.
"I don't want to come back at 80 percent and get hurt again," said Kemp, who almost certainly won't play in the Dodgers' historic two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia on March 22-23. "I want to be 100 percent the whole year and give everybody what I can give them with a full year of me being healthy."
Kemp tried to remind fans what that is when he boasted at a FanFest event before spring training that "I'm not made of glass. I'm still a beast."
The facts, though, are that he has played in less than half (138) of the Dodgers' 284 games (including playoffs) since a hamstring injury in late May 2012 ended his streak of 399 consecutive games played. Kemp has yet to be cleared to run on the field or do much more than take batting practice and run on a weight-assisted treadmill.
"He's going to look great. He's going to be able to do a lot of things like hitting," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said as Kemp reported to spring training this week. "But there are going to be things that he's going to just be a little behind schedule.
"There are certain things he won't do until everybody says it's okay -- like running outside -- that's when his ankle and the doctors let us know what he's capable of."
--RHP Kenley Jansen agreed to a one-year, $4.3 million contract, avoiding arbitration. Jansen had sought $5.05 million while the Dodgers offered $3.5 million. The two met just over the midpoint. It represents a large raise for the 26-year-old Jansen, who made just $512,000 while converting 28 of 32 save opportunities in 2013.
--SS Erisbel Arruebarruena has agreed on contract terms with the Dodgers. Arruebarruena, 23, defected from Cuba last year and worked out for scouts in December. He is seen as a very good defensive shortstop with limited offensive potential and is expected to spend the year in the minors. He is the fourth Cuban defector signed by the Dodgers in the past two years. The others are OF Yasiel Puig, IF Alex Guerrero and LHP Onelki Garcia.
--SS Hanley Ramirez said he would like to be "a Dodger for life" but would not comment on the status of contract extension talks when he reported to spring training. Ramirez is in the final year of his contract and GM Ned Colletti has acknowledged the two sides have had preliminary discussions on a contract extension.
--RHP Josh Beckett said he has no doubts that he will be able to return from surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. Beckett had the top rib on his right side removed to address numbness and tingling in his right hand. Beckett said he has had none of the symptoms since surgery last year. "I think my velocity is going to come back," he said. "I feel like I'm throwing as hard right now with less effort than I did all of last year."
--RHP Zach Lee is behind in his throwing program after suffering a lat strain during a development camp for young pitchers in January. Lee was the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2010. He is in camp as a non-roster invitee this spring.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's been winning since the day he got there. That tells you a lot. All the other guys that were with him did the same thing. But he was the guy. He was the leader of that group." -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, on Yankees SS Derek Jeter's announcement that he will retire after the 2014 season.
LHP Clayton Kershaw
RHP Zack Greinke
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu
RHP Dan Haren
RHP Josh Beckett
The Dodgers' starting pitchers had the lowest collective ERA in the majors last season (3.13). More of the same is expected from two-time Cy Young Award winner Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu.
The back of the rotation is more of a question. Haren looked rejuvenated in the second half of 2013 with the Washington Nationals and the Dodgers are counting on that continuing. Beckett is returning from surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome and will get the first shot at filling the fifth starter's spot. The schedule will allow him ample time to recover (the Dodgers won't need a fifth starter until April 19 if they choose). But the Dodgers added free-agent LHP Paul Maholm as an alternative if Beckett cannot return. Chad Billingsley (Tommy John recovery) is pegged for a May or June return, possibly giving the Dodgers another alternative.