The Los Angeles Dodgers are without Clayton Kershaw for the second time this season as he deals with lower back pain that forced him to the 15-day injured list.
Kershaw underwent an X-ray and MRI, which didn’t reveal any new findings, making it a “best-case scenario” for the left-hander in Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ estimation.
With the encouraging results of the testing, the team remains hopeful Kershaw will be able to return quicker than he did from his last injury — one month — but they still don’t have a timeline.
“I don’t know when he’s going to pick up a baseball again,” Dave Roberts said. “I use the phrase status quo, I think that’s where we’re at right now. Again, I think it’s going to be shorter than longer.”
Kershaw also underwent treatment on his back, including an epidural, a procedure that injects anti-inflammatory medicine into the space around the spinal cord.
“So that’s going to take a couple days to kind of settle in,” Roberts said. “Once that soreness dissipates, I think we’ll know more as well.”
Roberts added he’s unsure if there is any structural damage in Kershaw’s back, but said he doesn’t think it matters because the doctors have told him the results remained consistent from previous MRIs.
With no set timeline and nothing concerning in the MRIs, Kershaw’s return will be based on how his body progresses and deals with the pain rather than when he can begin throwing. “I think it’s more of when he feels good,” Roberts said.
“It’s just more of how his body is moving, and then the arm should still be fine.”
Pepiot likely to replace Kershaw in Dodgers rotation
Without Kershaw, the Dodgers have an open spot in their rotation to fill, and after trading Mitch White to the Toronto Blue Jays, it seems likely they’re going to rely on Ryan Pepiot.
On of the organization’s top pitching prospects, Pepiot has already made four starts this season for the Dodgers; three of which came in May. In his outing on July 5, Pepiot turned in his best start and lowered his season ERA to 2.76 in 16.1 innings with 19 strikeouts.
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