After beginning the season on the 10-day injured list for the first time in his career, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound last week in a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Kershaw to that point had been limited to bullpen sessions and simulated games as he works to return from shoulder inflammation that shut him down during Spring Training. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated the rehab assignment would be multiple starts, then confirmed as much days later.
There was some discussion over potentially deviating from the plan when Hyun-Jin Ryu strained his groin, but the Dodgers erred on the side of caution and moved forward with Kershaw starting for Double-A Tulsa.
After throwing 81 pitches (59 strikes) over six innings, Kershaw was pleased with his performance and his time with the Drillers, via SportsNet LA
“Good, fun environment, good place to play, really nice facilities for a Double-A park. It was good. … Pitching, I was a little bit better than my last rehab start, so that was good. I got to get through six innings, which was big. Got my pitch count up there so next time I’ll be ready to go.”
Kershaw allowed two runs on five hits, including a pair of home runs, and collected six strikeouts without issuing any walks.
Next for the 31-year-old is joining the Dodgers rotation, which Roberts estimated could come Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers, or in Monday’s series opener against the Cincinnati Reds.