Clayton Kershaw could miss several weeks

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Kershaw was placed on the disabled list on Sunday, retroactive to March 23. He will be reevaluated in 2-3 weeks.

SAN DIEGO -- Clayton Kershaw is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list as early as April 8, but the Dodgers ace won't be ready in time to start next Tuesday against the Tigers at Dodger Stadium.

After consultation with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttache, Kershaw will be placed on a light rehab schedule for the next two to three weeks with what the team calls a "submaximal throwing program."

Kershaw could miss several weeks, as a timetable for his return won't be determined until after that rehab is complete.

The left-hander, who is sidelined with inflammation of the teres major muscle in the left side of the upper part of his back, was scheduled to throw on Tuesday but Dodgers trainers nixed the idea.

"We're still a little bit on hold with Clayton," manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday afternoon's game against the Padres. "In general the throwing is not meant to test him, but to keep his shoulder moving while he's not able to pitch."

Kershaw last threw on Saturday in Anaheim, where he felt tightness in his back after 27 throws of increasing intensity and distance, topping out at 100 feet. He is scheduled to resume throwing on Wednesday, though the Dodgers are being cautious with their prized left-hander.

Kershaw won't be allowed to throw at increased velocity until after the two to three weeks is up, when he will then be reevaluated by Dr. ElAttrache.

"When's this thing going to let us know? We can't push it and make the decision on when he's going to be ready," Mattingly said. "We're trying to let him throw his way back."

Kershaw last pitched on March 22 in Australia, when he got the win after allowing one run in 6... innings in his fourth straight Opening Day start. As more and more distance builds from Kershaw's last time on a mound, Mattingly said a minor league rehabilitation start might be needed before Kershaw is activated from the DL.

"He's getting far enough away to where he's going to need a progression. We're still at the point where he can't throw X amount of distance," Mattingly said. "This thing is going to take some time."

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