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Dodgers notes: Clayton Kershaw confident in return, Dustin May back next weekend

Updates on a pair of LA starters

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw’s return timetable from low back pain is purposely vague, but after a positive reaction to and relief from an epidural shot last week, the left-hander told Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register in Kansas City that the postseason is the light at the end of the tunnel.

“Look – at the end of the day, I know what I need to do to get ready for October,” Kershaw told Plunkett. “I definitely feel I’ll have enough time to accomplish all of that.”

The MLB postseason schedule hasn’t yet officially been announced, but it’s reasonable to think that, if Kershaw is ready, he might not even need to pitch until about a week after the regular season, which ends on October 5, with the Dodgers in prime position to secure a bye into the Division Series. Backing into that, if Kershaw needs four starts, he could conceivably return as late as the series in San Francisco September 16-18 and still pitch in three games plus a simulated game in the day or two after the season ends as a final tuneup.

But ultimately, how Kershaw responds over the next few weeks, and once he starts throwing again, will give us a clearer picture of his potential return.

May, in August

Later tonight is Dustin May’s final minor league rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City (5:05 p.m. PT, vs. Rangers’ affiliate Round Rock). That, we knew. Next was figuring out exactly when he’d slot back into the Dodgers rotation after coming back from Tommy John surgery.

On Saturday evening, May’s agent had an idea.

Not that anything is official just yet, but usually if an agent is willing to say something like this, it’s already been discussed among player and team. Plus, Saturday makes a lot of sense. It will give both (Monday starter) Julio Urías and May five days of rest before facing the Marlins next weekend at Dodger Stadium.

Saturday will mark 476 days since May’s last major league start.