Clayton Kershaw was in the midst of a dominant start to the 2022 season when he unexpectedly was placed on the 15-day injured list May 13 due to right SI joint inflammation. The injury is often referred to sacroiliitis and can cause discomfort in the buttocks or lower back, and can extend down one or both legs.
Kershaw began to experience back pain on the Dodgers’ flight back from a road trip. He went multiple weeks without being able to throw off a mound but recently completed two bullpen sessions and now is joining Single-A Rancho Cucamonga for the start of a rehab assignment.
“He’s going to go three innings,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Kershaw’s plan with the Quakes for Sunday. “He feels good. And if it goes well, efficient, and he feels like he can take down another inning, he’ll do it in the ‘pen.
“If not, the three innings will be would great, and will be a good step in the right direction. So he’s looking forward to getting back on the mound.”
Unlike Andrew Heaney, Kershaw is making a rehab start without first facing batters in a simulated setting. However, the Dodgers are confident in the progress the three-time Cy Young Award winner has made.
“Even the ‘pen he threw, it was 60–65 pitches,” Roberts said of Kershaw’s most recent bullpen session. “It was a lengthy, aggressive ‘pen. So as far as arm strength, he’s in a good spot.”
When will Clayton Kershaw return?
Even if only logging three innings for the Quakes on Sunday, the Dodgers have not ruled out Kershaw potentially returning to their rotation for upcoming series against the San Francisco Giants at the end of the week.
That’s another difference from the plan for Heaney, who is slated to make multiple rehab starts.
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