Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw joined the team in Phoenix and threw off flat ground before the club’s series opener against the Diamondbacks. While there is no timetable from his return from a low back strain, there is a fairly clear path for Kershaw the rest of the way.
Kershaw must be feeling well. He's firing long toss, the way he does before a start or bullpen session.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 8, 2017
"I feel healthy. I don't feel I've lost much." -- Kershaw.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 8, 2017
This was Kershaw’s second time throwing since getting hurt on July 23, having also thrown last week at Dodger Stadium.
Manager Dave Roberts was a guest on MLB Network Radio on Monday night, describing his ace like “a caged lion,” wanting to return to the mound.
Kershaw on Tuesday told reporters he expects more rehab before returning to the Dodgers.
Kershaw possibly throwing a pen in a few days. Says he will need sim game & expects a rehab assignment too. #NoTimetable— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) August 8, 2017
Clayton Kershaw will likely throw a bullpen session this weekend in Los Angeles, Dave Roberts said. First time off a mound since the injury.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) August 8, 2017
In 2016, Kershaw made one three-inning rehab start with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga before returning to the majors. His first start back in the majors was also abbreviated, at just three innings, but that was after missing 10 weeks with a herniated disc.
Kershaw’s return last year began in the majors on Sept. 9, allowing him time to make five major league starts before the end of the season. This year there is more time to get those in.
Roberts said Kershaw will need to make four to five starts before regular season ends.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 8, 2017
Dodgers starters so far have more than picked up the slack in Kershaw’s absence, posting a 1.95 ERA in the last 12 games. The club is 11-1 during that span.