Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Hopeful To ‘Make An Impact’ This Season
Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Hopeful To ‘make An Impact’ This Season
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When Clayton Kershaw discussed the mild disc herniation that forced him to the 15-day disabled list he openly stated he did not have the patience to get through a DL stint and would tirelessly work his way toward a return.

The following days were filled with optimistic reports as Kershaw was recovering ahead of schedule. A schedule, or timeline, that was not and has not, been publicly released. However, the three-time Cy Young Award winner was shut down due to a setback after throwing a simulated game on July 16.

All that’s known at this stage is Kershaw has yet to resume throwing and is limited to core exercises. Kershaw nonetheless did his best to appease inquiring minds on what he called a “frustrating injury.”

“I’m just trying to get back. Obviously had a little setback, thought I was going to be back sooner. It’s just going to take a little time,” Kershaw said prior to Tuesday’s game. It was the second time he’s addressed the injury.

“Really, all I can say is I’m doing everything possible to get back. I trust the trainers and coaches to get me there.” The delicate nature of a back injury comes without a universal method or timeline for recovery and has forced Kershaw to essentially evaluate his status as he progresses.

Kershaw affirmed there wasn’t any back pain in the time leading up to the simulated game, and sensed relatively quickly there was something amiss. “I just knew there was something not quite right. Definitely felt [pain] where I shouldn’t feel it,” Kershaw said.

After setting a personal timetable with checkpoints along the way, the 28-year-old has ditched those in favor of a broader view to return and “make an impact on this season.”

“I’m trying every day to get back. Every single day doing exactly what I can,” he added. “As long as we’re still in it, that’s the goal.” This is just the second time in Kershaw’s Major League career where he’s missed time due to injury.

The first came in 2014 when an upper back injury surfaced after he made a start in the Opening Series in Australia. “It’s hard not to pitch, that’s what I love to do. You realize how much you love the game when you’re away from it and how much you take it for granted,” Kershaw said.

“I learned being healthy really is a blessing. It isn’t something you can take for granted. I’m just trying to be patient.” Although the Dodgers were left for dead when their ace went down, the club is 16-8 and only trails the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games for first place in the National League West.

That’s served in some essence as a silver lining for Kershaw. “It’s been so fun to watch. It’s not easy watching the games on TV. The way these guys are playing makes me really want to be part of it,” he said.

“It’s a great team, it really is. It’s fun to watch. One of the closest teams I’ve been part of. It’s hard to be away, I hate it. But I’m really happy they’re doing so well. Hopefully I can make it back and help in some way.”