Dodgers Injuries: Clayton Kershaw Missing Opening Day 2024 Due To Left Shoulder Surgery

Clayton Kershaw announced on Instagram he underwent left shoulder surgery Friday morning to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule. He added the procedure was completed by Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Kershaw faces a prolonged recovery and won’t be ready in time for Opening Day of the 2024 season. The 35-year-old expressed a hope to return around the midway point of next season.

Kershaw is among the Dodgers’ 12 free agents, though that number will increase once the team makes it official that Lance Lynn’s $18 million option was declined.

This marks a third consecutive offseason in which Kershaw reached free agency. He re-signed with the Dodgers on a one-year contract during both of the prior instances.

Whether the future Hall of Famer decides to sign a new contract over the next several weeks is unclear. He theoretically could delay such a decision while navigating the first couple months of the rehab process.

News of Kershaw undergoing shoulder surgery is not much of a surprise. He suffered what had largely been an unspecified left shoulder injury just before the All-Star break and wound up missing six weeks.

Kershaw’s fastball velocity was down and his command lacked upon getting activated, though he and the Dodgers declined to provide injury specifics nor use that as an excuse for performance.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged the left-hander would not get back to 100% health this season but was confident in his ability to continue making starts for the team. That largely panned out well during the regular season as Kershaw went 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

However, Kershaw endured the worst start of his career in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, allowing six runs and recording just one out before being removed in the first inning.

Is Clayton Kershaw going to retire?

Although Kershaw has a hope of pitching again during the 2024 season, the possibility of retirement lingers. Shoulder injuries, and a surgery in particular, can be challenging for a pitcher and that is especially true for someone of Kershaw’s age and 2,712.2 career innings.

Conventional wisdom holds Kershaw will again decide between re-signing with the Dodgers, joining his hometown Texas Rangers, or retiring.

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