Dodgers Injury Update: Clayton Kershaw To Return Without Rehab Assignment

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a multitude of pitchers set to return at various points in September, including Clayton Kershaw, who has been on the 15-day injured list due to lower back pain.

Kershaw was originally placed on the IL on Aug. 5 and he has since resumed throwing bullpen sessions, which is in line with the initial timeline the club set. He threw his first bullpen on Friday and came out of it feeling well.

“Arm feels great, back I think just some normal soreness,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But I just talked to Thomas (Albert), the head trainer, and said that Clayton came out of it, couldn’t be happier.”

The next step for Kershaw was to throw another bullpen session, but he threw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. Another is expected to take place while the Dodgers are in Miami.

“I don’t expect him to go out on an assignment. His rehab is going to be a simulated game with our guys,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers and Kershaw decided against a rehab assignment because the future Hall of Famer hasn’t been out long term.

“It’s kind of all of our thoughts in the sense that it’s only been a little over two weeks,” Roberts explained. “At that point in time when he would potentially go out, it’s like two and a half weeks. So it just doesn’t make as much sense.”

Kershaw has previously dealt with various back injuries during the 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 seasons, so the club will surely be cautious with him to make sure he is fully healthy for the postseason. Kershaw made one rehab start for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga when returning from right SI joint inflammation earlier this year.

When free of back trouble, Kershaw has been one of the team’s best starters this season, 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.

Multiple Dodgers relievers progressing

The Dodgers activated Dustin May on Saturday and they are expected to reinstate Brusdar Graterol from the 15-day IL on Monday. Additionally, they may see the returns of Danny Duffy, Victor González, Tommy Kahnle and Blake Treinen over the next few weeks as they are all close to going on a rehab assignment or have already begun one.

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