The worst is behind them. Or so the Dodgers hope.

They survived nearly two months without one of the best players in baseball, Matt Kemp, who was sidelined by a strained left hamstring. They also played their last 11 games without Andre Ethier, out because of a strained rib-cage muscle. They have lost 15 of their last 20 games.

When the first-place Dodgers return Friday from the All-Star break to face the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, they are expecting Kemp and Ethier to be back in their lineup.