Clayton Kershaw Update: Return Delayed After MRI

Clayton Kershaw asking to come out of his June 27 start at Coors Field was an ominous sign, and so too were subsequent comments he and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made.

Kershaw advanced to playing catch during the final two days of the Dodgers’ road trip, but didn’t end up making his next scheduled start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 3. Instead, the Dodgers put Kershaw on the 15-day injured list that day, with the stint backdated to June 30.

Roberts and Kershaw expressed cautious optimism he would return immediately after the All-Star break. He was eligible to come off the IL on Saturday, but Tony Gonsolin is instead starting the second game against the New York Mets, with Bobby Miller taking the mound in the series finale at Citi Field.

But an MRI on Kershaw’s ailing left shoulder is requiring a longer period of rest and recovery, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

But Kershaw said he underwent an MRI “before the (All-Star) break” and was advised by Dr. Neal ElAttrache that it “just needs to heal.”

That would seem to indicate the MRI revealed more than simply inflammation but the three-time Cy Young Award winner would not be specific.

“Doesn’t need to be specific. We’re not doctors here,” Kershaw said. “We’ve just got to listen to the doctors. I’m trying to do that as best I can.”

Roberts is forecasting Kershaw won’t return until early August in a best-case scenario:

“It’s hard to give an exact timeline, but the beginning of August, at some time around there, is sort of fair,” Roberts said.

It’s unclear at which point Kershaw underwent an MRI, but he previously revealed one was not taken in the immediate aftermath of suffering the shoulder injury. The 35-year-old was treated with a cortisone injection that he said previously solved shoulder inflammation, which is the full extent of Kershaw’s injury details that have been made public.

For the time being the Dodgers rotation figures to consist of Julio Urías, Gonsolin, Miller, Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove. Though, Grove could be utilized after an opener or as part of a more traditional bullpen game.

Clayton Kershaw shoulder injury history

Kershaw has previously dealt with shoulder trouble in his career. The first instance was in 2014, when he landed on the IL because of a left shoulder strain. However, that was more an injury of the teres major muscle that is located in the upper back area.

Kershaw missed his Opening Day start in 2019 due to left shoulder inflammation, but his stint on the IL was short as the Dodgers activated him just over two weeks later.

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