One day after he was named opening day starter for the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw had back tightness that caused him to skip his scheduled bullpen session on Wednesday. The southpaw will not throw a bullpen session before Friday as a precaution. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has more details.
Earlier in the day, manager Don Mattingly said as far as he knew the first day of workouts went smoothly but noted that he hadn't yet spoken with all the coaches and players. Mattingly even joked that the team made it through three sprints Wednesday without an injury, a reference to Dana Eveland, who pulled a hamstring while running on the first day of camp last year.
Kershaw first felt back stiffness during informal workouts last week, per Gurnick. The injury news comes on the same day that Mattingly was asked in the morning, prior to the team's first workout, if he was concerned of last year's workload for Kershaw, who threw a career-high 233 innings, 29 more than in 2010.
"I think he would probably fight us if we tried to change his routine now," Mattingly said. "We ask guys to try and find routines and stuck with them good or bad, kind of your blanket. Clayton's got his own routine, I'm sure it's worked for him. I'm not going to be the one that says 'Clayton, we need to change some things up here.'
"We know Clayton is young and has thrown a lot of innings, but we wouldn't do anything to jeopardize him. He's going to be taken care of like any of our guys."
Kershaw has pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last two seasons. The last Dodgers pitcher to throw 200 innings in three straight years was Orel Hershiser from 1985-1989.
Kershaw's first spring start will be March 9, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.