Dodgers Injury Update: Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu Advancing Slowly Down Rehab Trail
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For a brief period of time there was some hope for the Los Angeles Dodgers that their starting rotation would resemble what many expected it to be. However, while Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu managed to make their respective 2016 debuts, Clayton Kershaw was lost to the 15-day disabled list.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner suffered from lower back pain that was a byproduct of a mild disc herniation. Kershaw avoided surgery and began to work his way toward a return. After recovering ahead of schedule, he threw a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on July 16.

Kershaw came away from the session with residual back pain and has been shut down until it subsides. Approaching two weeks since his last baseball activity, Kershaw still hasn’t been cleared to do more than core exercises.

“Kersh, [Thursday], was moving around well when he came for treatment,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts of his ace on Friday.

“I talked to him and he reiterated he’s planning on coming back this year. There isn’t a hard date but for him to be optimistic about coming back, I think is a good thing. I’m not going to hold him to a particular date, but I do know he’s going to do everything he can to get back.”

Meanwhile, Ryu, who was placed back on the 15-day DL with elbow tendinitis on July 19, faces the same uncertainty in the immediate future. “He’s going through the rehab process, hasn’t picked up a ball,” Roberts said.

When compared to Kershaw, Ryu may be more of a question mark to pitch this season. “As far as his return, I’m not sure,” Roberts added. “I’m hopeful he’s going to help us at some point this year but I don’t know when.”

Ryu allowed six runs on eight hits, including one home run, over 4.2 innings in what’s been his lone start since returning from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.