Dodgers Injury Update: Clayton Kershaw Returning ‘Sooner Rather Than Later’
Clayton Kershaw, 2020 Spring Training
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the process of completing a second turn through the starting rotation without Clayton Kershaw, but he could be just days away from being activated off the injured list.

Kershaw was sidelined by back stiffness on Opening Day, paving the way for Dustin May to start the season opener and in the series finale against the Houston Astros. Kershaw admitted the back trouble was “defeating,” but he also expressed confidence in being able to make a speedy recovery.

Kershaw continued playing prior to games on the homestand, and advanced to throwing a bullpen session at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. “Just for him to do his normal warmup pregame, and then to do 10- to 15-pitch up and down, and for him to come out of that, we just felt that was a huge positive,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Next for Kershaw is a bullpen session at Chase Field on Thursday. “Talking to the medical staff and Mark (Prior), for him now to throw a regular side session bullpen before a start, would be the next hurdle,” Roberts explained.

“We just felt that’s the next thing to do as opposed to just getting him into a game.”

Although Kershaw is tracking to come off the IL during the four-game series with the Diamondbacks, Roberts has already ruled out Friday as a possibility.

Searching for a starter

With Kershaw not an option and the Dodgers committed to providing Julio Urias with an extra day of rest before his next outing, the team is in need of a starter for Friday’s game because Alex Wood was placed on the IL.

“We should know here soon,” Roberts said Wednesday. “With the way [Tuesday] went, we have some guys at the satellite camp, we’ve got the taxi and options in the bullpen. We’re not ready to say who it is, because we really don’t know.”

If the Dodgers do select a pitcher from their alternate training site at USC, he was going to be required to drive to Arizona because MLB has banned commercial travel this season.

Roberts previously mentioned the likes of Tony Gonsolin, Josiah Gray and Victor Gonzalez as pitching options. Gonzalez is among the three players already traveling with the team as part of the taxi squad.

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