Clayton Kershaw made his way to left field at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon. He was followed shortly after by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, manager Dave Roberts, general manager Farhan Zaidi and teammate Yu Darvish, among others.
Kershaw completed a bullpen session, his first since being diagnosed with a lower back strain, without issue. He simply described it as “fine.” Roberts provided more insight on the throwing session that was estimated to be 35 pitches.
“It went better than fine,” Roberts said. “For us, to get out of it unscathed and feel good about it, is very good. Used his entire mix, I thought it went well.”
Kershaw is scheduled for another bullpen session Sunday. “At that point in time we’ll make that next decision,” Roberts said. “Obviously, a rehab assignment is in store.”
Roberts added he isn’t yet certain if a rehab assignment would call for Kershaw to make one or multiple starts. He joined High-A Rancho Cucamonga last September for just one outing prior to returning from a herniated disc in his back.
Kershaw missed 10 weeks with the injury and though he nor the Dodgers have publicly set a timetable, the expectation is Kershaw will make a quicker return this year. A report suggested he would only be sidelined four to six weeks.
That was not confirmed by the team, however, and Kershaw emphatically refuted it as being factual. Regardless, the Dodgers are in strong position to not rush the three-time Cy Young Award winner, as they hold a commanding lead in the National League West and for best overall record.