Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Feels ‘Healthy,’ Expected To Throw Bullpen Session In Coming Days
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw in the dugout
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not only managed without Clayton Kershaw but thrived in his absence by going 12-2, including Kershaw’s shortened start, since he suffered a lower back strain. The injury immediately led to concerns of last year’s herniated disc issue.

Kershaw and the Dodgers have maintained the back trouble this time around is merely muscle-related and his disc remains in a positive state. Kershaw was prescribed pain medication and instructed to not pick up a baseball until he was asymptomatic.

That came all of one day after Dodgers manager Dave Roberts provided the update on his ace. Since that time, Kershaw has continued to play catch and pushed to begin throwing off a mound.

Kershaw reunited with the Dodgers at Chase Field on Tuesday and increased his level of activity. That included playing catch, then throwing long toss and pitching to a catcher on flat ground.

Following the pregame workout, Kershaw provided a positive update on his status, via SportsNet LA:

“I feel healthy. I think now it’s just a matter of building back up at a good pace and, obviously, understanding where we’re at and the timeline and all that stuff. I don’t feel like I’ve lost much. But, being a starter, you’ve gotta build your innings back and all that. So, it’s going take a little bit of time to do that.”

The next step for Kershaw is expected to be a bullpen session this weekend, according to Pedro Moura of the L.A. Times:

Before his team squandered a late lead to lose Tuesday, Manager Dave Roberts said he expects that to happen this weekend at Dodger Stadium, after the team concludes its current nine-game trip.

Should all continue to go well, Kershaw would progress to a simulated game and a final test in the form of a Minor League rehab assignment. The three-time Cy Young Award winner previously intimated a desire to make multiple rehab starts prior to coming off the disabled list.

While he’s recovering ahead of schedule in some regard, the Dodgers presumably will continue to exercise caution with Kershaw’s recovery. He attempted to the accelerate the process last season and it led to a setback. Kershaw ultimately missed 10 weeks because of the herniated disc.

Although Kershaw and the Dodgers did not publicly reveal any semblance of a timetable, a report indicated he was expected to miss four to six weeks.