Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said an MRI revealed Clayton Kershaw has a lower back strain, which Roberts considers a “much better” prognosis in comparison to last year’s injury. He did not confirm a previous report that indicated Kershaw will be out four to six weeks.
That was the same timetable put in place last season, only for Kershaw to miss 10 weeks with a mild herniated disc. Roberts said the disc is “continuing to heal” and added the club knows Kershaw will “be back to help us this year.”
The Dodgers do not yet have a timetable for Kershaw, but more clarity is expected once the club and Kershaw meet with Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday. With that, the team may very well not make the information public, which was the case last year.
Kershaw was removed after two innings on Sunday due to what was described as right low back tightness. In addressing the matter during a postgame interview, Kershaw said he wasn’t able to compare it to last season’s injury.
Without providing specifics, Kershaw said he felt “a little something in my back that wasn’t normal” while warming up for the second inning.
Roberts was encouraged by the absence of shooting pain and sensations down Kershaw’s leg. Those are symptoms correlated to a disc injury, and what Kershaw experienced last year.
The Dodgers fell to 41-36 in Kershaw’s final start last season before he was placed on the disabled list. They went 38-24 during his 10-week absence. The Dodgers are in a much stronger position a second time around, holding a 10.5-game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the National League West.