Clayton Kershaw to make one more minor league rehab start

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw last pitched in Double-A for the Jacksonville Suns in 2008, at age 20.

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will make one more minor league rehab start before returning to the team, and the left-hander didn't sound too happy about it.

The Dodgers have made the decision of when and where Kershaw will pitch, likely on Wednesday, but haven't yet announced the date or location. The most likely location is Double-A Chattanooga, home to Tennessee for five games starting Wednesday.

Manager Don Mattingly confirmed Chattanooga as a possibility. Other options include Class-A Great Lakes (in Fort Wayne Indiana), advanced Class-A Rancho Cucamonga (in San Bernardino) and Triple-A Albuquerque (home to Salt Lake).

Kershaw said the level of competition for his rehab start didn't really matter.

"I hadn't really thought about it," he said.

The Dodgers' nine-game road trip takes them from Minnesota after their game Thursday night to Miami for a weekend series with the Marlins.

"His next start will be at the 75-80 pitch range, and we feel like he'd be 90-95 when he's ready to start," Mattingly said.

Kershaw threw 56 pitches in five innings for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, his first minor league game in six years. He threw a bullpen session on Sunday morning and felt good afterward, and hasn't had any setbacks with his rehab from inflammation in his upper back since March 29 in Anaheim during the Freeway Series.

Kershaw pleaded to make his next start with the Dodgers, but lost the argument.

"That's kind of the hard part, going to pitch another [rehab] game and feel healthy," Kershaw said.

Earlier Sunday, Mattingly said a decision hadn't yet been made regarding Kershaw but that he sided with the medical staff in wanting Kershaw to make one more rehab start just as a precaution.

"I'm not sure who's winning the argument. I'm sure the decision will be made with common sense or the whole season," Mattingly said. "The biggest thing in my mind is the pitch count. How do you get from 50-something pitches to 90?"

Kershaw starting for the Lookouts on Wednesday or Thursday would put him in line to rejoin the Dodgers rotation for the series in Washington D.C. against the Nationals, which runs from May 5 to May 7.

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