Dodgers Injury Update: Clayton Kershaw Confident Being ‘Cautious With Time’ Will Allow Forearm To Heal
Clayton Kershaw, 2021 NLDS
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers went more than two months without Clayton Kershaw due to left forearm inflammation/elbow soreness that appeared to put his season in danger before a return came to fruition in the middle of September.

Kershaw’s recovery included a setback as he dealt with residual soreness after facing batters in a simulated game. Kershaw later admitted to rushing the process because of his desire to get back on the field.

Upon coming off the 60-day injured list in September, the 33-year-old expressed confidence there was sufficient time to build back up to a full workload as a starting pitcher. Kershaw made progress in each of his first two outings but then stalled.

After struggling against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sept. 25, Kershaw failed to make it out of the second inning in his next start. The Dodgers announced his early removal was due to left forearm discomfort.

There was some relief when an MRI did not reveal a damaged ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), but Kershaw’s season nevertheless came to an end. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP) injection prior to the National League Division Series beginning and planned to be more deliberate with the recovery a third time around.

“I think it’s just kind of week-to-week,” answered Kershaw in response to when he may resume throwing. “We have tons of time, so we’re going to be cautious this time. I’ve never given it the rest that it needed for whatever reason.

“Whether because I tried to get back for the postseason, or just really came back too early the first time. Going to be cautious this time. It’s going to be a little while.”

On top of the injury preventing Kershaw from being on the field for the Dodgers in the postseason, it came ahead of reaching free agency this winter. Though, that was not of any concern for Kershaw.

“The future was not in my mind. The only thing was not being able to pitch this month,” he said. “That was the only thing that came into my mind, because when you’re on this team you get the luxury of thinking about that a lot and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Kershaw confident in PRP injection, time

History of pitchers electing for a PRP injection to treat an elbow issue doesn’t bode favorably for Kershaw, as several have ultimately required Tommy John surgery. The group includes Chad Billingsley, Shohei Ohtani and Chris Sale, among others.

However, Kershaw maintained the injury is a “just a flexor issue.”

“That’s going to be my treatment,” he said of the PRP injection. “I’m going to rest and let it heal. I’m not going to get surgery on it or anything. Everybody I’ve talked to, all the doctors and everything, feel good that I’ll be good to go by Spring Training, so that’s the plan. … I just talked to a lot of people and been on the phone a lot. I feel good about it.”

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