Clayton Kershaw: Pitcher Injuries ‘Probably A Combination’ Of Talking Points

Clayton Kershaw is making steady progress in his rehab process from left shoulder surgery as he hopes to join the Los Angeles Dodgers at some point during the second half of the 2024 season.

He’s one of the many big name starters dealing with an injury, as the likes of Gerrit Cole, Spencer Strider, Shane Bieber, Framber Valdez and Sandy Alcántara all remain out. The growing number of pitcher injuries that either require surgery or a lengthy shutdown period, is growing at a rate that’s drawing heightened attention.

The name value in the injury wave is unfortunate for Major League Baseball, with Kershaw also agreeing that it’s a concerning factor and not a result of one main reason, per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:

“Everybody has theories,” Kershaw said. “It’s probably a combination of what everybody’s talking about, whether it be added velocity, weighted ball programs too young, all this stuff that people talk about. But at the end of the day, nobody knows. Nobody knows the perfect formula, and if they did, they’d be doing it. So I think the question we need to ask is, how do we fix it? And then somebody has to be brave enough to put their neck out and try something different.”

The Dodgers have their own crop of pitchers who’ve dealt with elbow injuries requiring Tommy John surgery. Shohei Ohtani is the latest to have his second major elbow procedure. Ohtani previously expressed his belief that pitcher injuries are a byproduct of multiple factors.

The argument surrounding high-velocity arms is valid, but the expectation to cater to avoiding injury to reduce effectiveness isn’t a likely route. Kershaw has significant mileage, but never dealt with overwhelming elbow issues during the peak of his career, making these a true case-by-case instance.

When will Clayton Kershaw return?

The Dodgers and Kershaw haven’t set a target range for his return from the 60-day injured list, but it’s likely to be some time after the All-Star break.

Kershaw has been spotted at Dodger Stadium throwing in the outfield, ramping up his throwing program. Kershaw is hopeful to throw off a mound in May.

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