The Los Angeles Dodgers enter play Friday night having gone 8-1 since Clayton Kershaw’s last start. If including his injury-shortened outing, the Dodgers are 9-1 without their ace.
Kershaw remains on the 10-day disabled list due to a lower back strain. The Dodgers, nor Kershaw, have provided a timetable, though a minimum of a few weeks absence was expected. A report indicated Kershaw would miss four to six weeks.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did not confirm that projection, while Kershaw emphatically deemed it to be false reporting.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner recently began playing catch and was said to be ahead of schedule in the recovery process. Now, Kershaw is pushing to throw off a mound, which Roberts said is causing the team to rein him in a bit, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
“He’s more on the aggressive side, which is no surprise to any of us,” Roberts said. “We’re trying to temper that, a little bit. He’s more on the aggressive side, which is no surprise to any of us,” Roberts said. “We’re trying to temper that, a little bit.
While Kershaw has not publicly revealed a timetable for his return, he said an expectation and hope is to make a handful of starts in preparation for the playoffs. He missed 10 weeks last year with a mild disc herniation.
The Dodgers have maintained Kershaw’s back trouble this season is solely muscle related and that his disc continues to improve. Los Angeles is mindful of what transpired last season when Kershaw attempted to rush his return, which caused a setback.
The team is in much stronger standing the second time around, as they hold a commanding lead in the National League West and own the best record in baseball. What’s more, Yu Darvish’s arrival should only strengthen what’s ranked as one of the, if not the top starting rotation.