Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Anticipating ‘Healthy Offseason’
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Among the several injuries the Los Angeles Dodgers were faced with this season, none was more daunting than the back injury that forced Clayton Kershaw to the 15-day disabled list on July 1. Kershaw received treatment on his back the day after a rocky start against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Although the initial impression was the left-handed ace was merely dealing with discomfort, concern grew when Kershaw received an epidural and was bound for the DL. Nonetheless, the club remained relatively confident the injury would not be a long-term issue.

But Kershaw was then diagnosed with a mild disc herniation and after a setback in his recovery, didn’t come off the 60-day DL until Sept. 9.

Considering the 28-year-old only made one rehab start, the Dodgers cautiously eased Kershaw back into the rotation. He eventually hit full-swing, even making the customary postseason start on short rest.

While the injury has required Kershaw to make some adjustments to his between-starts routine and workouts, he’s not expecting any issues during the offseason, according to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

The stint on the disabled list was just the second of Kershaw’s career. He was out March 23-May 6 during the 2014 season due to a Teres Major strain (upper back).

At the time of landing on the DL this year, Kershaw was 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA, 1.67 FIP and 0.73 WHIP. He led the Majors in ERA, complete games (three), complete-game shutouts (three), innings pitched (121) and strikeouts (145), among other categories.

Kershaw went 1-2 with a 1.29 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched over five September starts. He then shouldered a heavy load during the postseason, starting Game 4 of the National League Division Series on short rest, then returning on one days’ rest to record a two-out save in Game 5.

A mere three days later, Kershaw held the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs to two hits and had six strikeouts over seven shutout innings in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series.