Clayton Kershaw overcame a setback to rejoin the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation for the final month of the regular season, which allowed for just enough time to fully stretch out heading into the playoffs.
However, what was supposed to be the final step in that process came to a crashing halt when Kershaw was removed in the second inning because of another bout with left forearm discomfort. Fortunately for the 33-year-old, an MRI did not reveal the injury to involve any damage to his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).
Kershaw nevertheless has been ruled out to pitch this postseason, and on Thursday addressed what he reiterated was a flexor tendon issue by receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP) injection.
“That’s going to be my treatment,” Kershaw said before Game 1 of the National League Division Series. “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.”
Although there is a list of pitchers who elected for a PRP injection, only to later require Tommy John surgery, Kershaw is optimistic he will manage to avoid such fate. “I just talked to a lot of people and been on the phone a lot. I feel good about it,” he said.
Some of that confidence stems from the offseason allowing for the left-hander to not rush the recovery process like he did during the regular season.
“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,” he said. “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 (before a throwing program begins).”
Kershaw planning to help Dodgers
Like Max Muncy as he recovers from a dislocated left elbow, Kershaw is traveling with the Dodgers during the postseason.
“I think I watch a lot of baseball, so I think I can help as far as if I see something,” he said. “It’s not going to be a lot, obviously. We’ve got a lot of guys that do a lot of good stuff, but just be around. Try not to get in the way.”
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