Dodgers Injury Update: Clayton Kershaw Returning To Starting Rotation Against Mets

When the Los Angeles Dodgers lost Clayton Kershaw to more back trouble, they were optimistic he would make a speedy return upon being placed on the 15-day injured list Aug. 5.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts estimated Kershaw would return within two to four weeks, and that possibility became more likely as an epidural immediately alleviated lower back pain. Such was not the case when Kershaw received the same injection to treat right SI joint inflammation.

A throwing program led to Kershaw getting off the mound for a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 19. Three days later he faced batters in a simulated game, and did so again while the Dodgers were in Miami.

Now Kershaw is poised to return to the Dodgers starting rotation Thursday for the series finale against the New York Mets, according to Kirsten Watson of SportsNet LA:

After Kershaw stretched out to throwing four innings in a simulated game at loanDepot Park, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the left-hander would either return against the Mets, or when the team started a homestand the following day against the San Diego Padres.

By slotting in Kershaw for the finale at Citi Field, it provides Dustin May with an extra day of rest.

Now having navigated two separate back injuries this season, Kershaw looks to finish out the regular season on a high note and pitch for the team in the playoffs. He was unable to do so last October due to experiencing left forearm discomfort in his final start of the 2021 regular season.

When able to be on the mound, Kershaw has been effective for the Dodgers this year. He’s 7-3 with a 2.64 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 0.98 WHIP, 26.2% strikeout rate and 4.5% walk rate over 15 starts.

History of Clayton Kershaw back injuries

Kershaw has been placed on the IL for various back injuries during the 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022 seasons.

He missed 41 days due to back inflammation in 2014, 74 days because of a disc herniation in 2016, and a back strain cost him 39 days on the IL during the 2017 seasons. There were shorter IL stints in 2018 and 2020, but Kershaw then missed one month because of both back injuries this year.

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