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Clayton Kershaw throws in Arizona, eyes return to Dodgers rotation

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LHP expected to throw off mound during upcoming homestand

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

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.