When Clayton Kershaw overcame a setback in his recovery from left forearm/elbow soreness, he often spoke with excitement of joining the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final month of the regular season as the team pursued a ninth consecutive National League West title.
Even as the likelihood of winning another division crown began to fade, Kershaw looked forward to another year of October baseball. However, that opportunity was taken away Friday night when he came out in the second inning due to what the team described as left forearm discomfort.
“It’s a tough blow obviously. Just felt something there in my elbow in the second inning. Forearm, elbow, I don’t know what it is but kind of the same thing I’ve been dealing with,” Kershaw said after the Dodgers’ comeback win.
“Just got bad enough to where I couldn’t keep going. I’ll get it looked at in the next couple days. Haven’t quite wrapped my head around all that yet, but the biggest thing was I just wanted to be a part of this team going through October. This team is special. You saw what Trea did, you saw that this team is capable of doing. I’ve known that.
“I know we’re going to do something special this year and I wanted to be a part of that. So that’s the hardest part for me right now. Just knowing that chances are it’s not looking great for October. Overall, it’s going to be fun to watch. I’m excited for these guys to do what they’re going to do in October.”
Kershaw’s start against the Milwaukee Brewers already had taken on some added significance that stretched beyond the NL West race. The 33-year-old is due to become a free agent after the season, and Friday’s outing conceivably could have been his last with the Dodgers.
“I’ve said this before, my future is going to take care of itself. I’m not really worried about that right now,” Kershaw said. “I really wanted to be a part of the moment right now and I wanted to be with this group going through October.
“That was my only focus this whole year once I got hurt, was to come back and make up for it this month. So that’s the hard part right now, knowing it’s going to be a challenge to contribute at all this next month.
“As far as anything else goes, I haven’t really wrapped my head around it and I don’t plan to anytime soon. I’m just excited to watch these guys.”
Turner: Kershaw will still contribute
As Kershaw and the Dodgers await to learn the specifics of his injury, Trea Turner anticipates the left-hander making his presence felt moving forward.
“You never want to see one of your guys go down. Especially an unbelievable teammate like him,” Turner said.
“I haven’t known him for a long time, but I can already see why he’s a leader in this clubhouse and why he’s had a great career and why he’s going to continue to be a big part of our team. Whether he’s on the field or in the dugout, he’s special. You never want to see anybody like him go through that.”
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