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Clayton Kershaw headed for disabled list after epidural injection in back

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw received an epidural injection on Wednesday and will be placed on the disabled list, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Thursday. This sidelines Kershaw through at least the All-Star break, though without a diagnosis yet of his lower back injury he could be out even longer.

Kershaw leads the majors in ERA (1.79) and innings pitched (121), and is now second in strikeouts (145) to Max Scherzer. He was slated to pitch the Dodgers' series opener on Friday against the Rockies, but now will miss that start plus one more before the All-Star break.

The Dodgers still haven't announced a replacement starter for Friday, because there is a decent chance the replacement isn't currently in the organization.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Thursday the Dodgers were heavily interested in Rays pitcher Erasmo Ramirez, who has pitched mostly in relief for Tampa Bay in 2016, with just one start in his 32 appearances. But he made 27 starts for the Rays in 2015.

Ramirez pitched an inning in relief on Wednesday night, but before that hadn't pitched since Saturday.

The only logical in-house choices for Friday are either Carlos Frias on short rest after five innings and 67 pitches on Monday, or Jharel Cotton on regular rest. Frias has only pitched on short rest after more than two innings just once in his professional career. Last year he pitched six innings on Sept. 3, then four days later pitched two innings.