Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Hopeful For Solution To Combat Pitcher Injuries

Among the biggest storylines of the 2024 MLB season thus far has been the rash of pitcher injuries, with a slew of notable arms sidelined for the foreseeable future.

Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Sandy Alcantara, Shane Bieber, Spencer Strider, Shane McClanahan, Robbie Ray and Lucas Giolito are just a few of the names who either won’t pitch until the second half or have been ruled out for the entire year.

Clayton Kershaw is also on the mend from a left shoulder injury that required surgery during the offseason. Kershaw has observed the increase in pitcher injuries — specifically elbow trouble — from afar and doesn’t like what he sees.

Kershaw is hopeful MLB and the Players Association can work together to find a solution to combat the growing number of pitcher injuries, via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:

“At the end of the day, we just want the best players to be on the field,” Kershaw said. “That’s true of every sport. So if there’s a way to do that better, I hope that MLB, the union, everybody would be all on board to figuring that out. I just haven’t heard somebody tell me definitively what would help.”

There have been several theories for the cause in the uptick of pitcher injuries, beginning with the pitch clock that was implemented last season. Shohei Ohtani is among the players who see a direct link between the two, but stopped short of placing the entire blame on the timer.

Others have cited poor mechanics and maximum-effort throws for the rise in elbow injuries.

Kershaw previously expressed his belief there are several factors contributing to injury woes and he doesn’t think a clear-cut answer or solution exists.

When will Clayton Kershaw return?

Kershaw is approaching the five-month mark since his shoulder operation and has progressed to throwing long toss in the outfield. He has also thrown with more intensity from shorter distances and expects to ramp up as he continues making progress.

Kershaw recently said that he is aiming to throw off a mound in May for the first time since his shoulder surgery. The next steps after that would be facing live hitters and then eventually beginning a Minor League rehab assignment.

If all continues to go well, Kershaw envisions being able to return to the Dodgers in late July or early August.

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