Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw’s To Throw Simulated Game At PNC, Rehab Start On Horizon
Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (Aug. 20, 9:10 a.m. PT): Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts clarified Clayton Kershaw will indeed throw a simulated game on Monday at PNC Park, which is what the original plan called for. Kershaw presumably will then make a rehab start over the weekend.

While the Los Angeles Dodgers have hardly skipped a beat without Clayton Kershaw, they nonetheless are anticipating the return of their ace for the final stretch of the regular season. Kershaw has been on the disabled list with a lower back strain since July 24.

He steadily resumed throwing off flat ground, then advanced to bullpen sessions and a simulated game. Each checkpoint has been crossed without Kershaw experiencing any sort of setback. As planned, he threw a bullpen session Friday at Comerica Park.

That was expected to serve as a precursor to a second simulated game for Kershaw, but that’s been pushed back to Tuesday. Looking further ahead, Kershaw is now expected to make a rehab start prior to coming off the disabled list, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

Kershaw is scheduled to throw another simulated game, this time three innings long, on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. If that goes well, the next step would be a rehab game with either Double-A Tulsa or Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Neither the Dodgers or Kershaw publicly revealed a timetable for his return. A report that projected up to a six-week recovery was emphatically denounced as inaccurate by Kershaw.

He did express a desire to make a handful of starts in preparation for the playoffs. That, coupled with his rate of progression, suggest he’ll be activated in early September. Last season, Kershaw missed 10 weeks while recovering from a herniated disc.

The Dodgers have maintained this year’s back trouble does not involve the disc and isn’t as severe as the previous injury.