When the Los Angeles Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day injured list May 13 with right SI joint inflammation, there was optimism he would make a quick return.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Kershaw both forecasted the left-hander getting activated either on the first day he was eligible or shortly after. “I don’t feel great right now, but hopefully it won’t be too long and I’ll be back out there,” Kershaw said at the time.
He declined to provide specifics of the injury, which is often called sacroiliitis, can cause discomfort in the buttocks or lower back, and extend down one or both legs. Roberts said Kershaw’s pain was in his back.
He was administered an epidural but it did not provide the expected relief. A planned bullpen session last week was canceled because Kershaw had not moved past feeling discomfort.
While Kershaw did continue throwing, Roberts said the left-hander now isn’t likely to get off the mound for a couple weeks, via SportsNet LA:
“He’s back home in Texas right now, he’s not traveling with us. He’ll meet us in Arizona, and at that time hopefully we can start playing catch and see where we’re at. It could turn and speed up, but I just don’t want to put him under any timeline.”
Although the epidural did not alleviate Kershaw’s back pain, Roberts said there is not more concern and rest should help remedy the issue:
“He did have a scan and obviously got the epidural as well. From everything we’ve heard, it’s something that rest will allow for the sharpness of pain to subside. I think the scan was actually very encouraging.”
Kershaw’s back injury was the second the Dodgers have sustained in their starting rotation, with Andrew Heaney previously going on the IL due to left shoulder inflammation.
Kershaw previously dealt with various back injuries during the 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 seasons. Last year he twice suffered from left forearm/elbow inflammation, with the second instance preventing him from pitching in the postseason.
Clayton Kershaw’s health
After spending most of the offseason recovering from the elbow trouble, Kershaw went gone 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 32 strikeouts against three walks over five starts thus far. He threw seven scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs in his final outing before going on the IL.
Along with having a renaissance season, Kershaw and the Dodgers were encouraged by his overall health.
Are you following Dodger Blue on Instagram? It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!