Clayton Kershaw has been on the 15-day injured list since Aug. 5 due to lower back pain, but he may soon be returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously said Kershaw would not need a rehab assignment because he’s only been on the IL for a few weeks. Kershaw is expected to pitch his final simulated game on Saturday in Miami.
The exercise is expected to be four innings, as Kershaw builds on pitching three when facing batters at Dodger Stadium earlier in the week.
If all goes well in the sim game at loanDepot Park, Roberts indicated Kershaw’s next time throwing would be in a start for the Dodgers. Roberts more specifically said soonest Kershaw would return is on Sept. 1 against the New York Mets at Citi Field, via SportsNet LA:
“It’s either the option of regular (rest), which would be Thursday. Or an extra day, which would be Friday. We haven’t decided which yet, but it’s probably going to be one of those two.”
If Kershaw doesn’t start against the Mets, he would be in line to face the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 2.
Once Kershaw returns, the Dodgers are expected to carry a six-man starting rotation for a stretch in September to provide their pitchers with extra rest. That also would take some of the workloads of Kershaw and Dustin May, who are both returning from injuries, and Tony Gonsolin, who has already has set a career-high in innings pitched at 128.1.
The 34-year-old has been one of the team’s best starters this season when he’s on the mound, posting a 2.64 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 0.98 WHIP, 26.2% strikeout rate and a 4.5% walk rate in 85.1 innings pitched through 15 outings.
Kershaw joins high school ping pong tournament
Miguel Contreras Learning Complex held a ping pong tournament that was attended by Kershaw as part of the 2022 Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour. The winner of the tournament was able to meet and play against the Dodgers’ southpaw.
The local high school was unveiling a new literacy corner that included a Kershaw’s Challenge ping pong table donated by the charity’s sponsors and the veteran participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting. It was accompanied by a donation from the signed ping pong table that was auctioned off after the Ping Pong 4 Purpose event earlier this month.
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