Anticipation over Clayton Kershaw’s expected return continues to build as he checked off another box with Tuesday’s bullpen session. Kershaw threw the rough equivalent of two innings, which included simulating the action of sitting between innings.
That was troublesome for the left-handed ace during his first bid at a comeback, but Kershaw didn’t experience any back pain or discomfort this time around. After throwing Tuesday, Kershaw said he felt prepared to take the next step in his recovery process.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated that will be a 60-pitch bullpen session to be thrown later this week. From there, Kershaw will advance to facing hitters.
Ideally that would come in the form of a rehab assignment with a Minor League affiliate. However, the Minor League season is nearing its conclusion.
But if Kershaw does go out on a rehab, it likely won’t be for multiple starts. In part due to his negotiating with the club.
“We talked about potentially two (rehab starts), but it became one,” Roberts said. “Obviously, he’s more the aggressor and that’s what makes him great.”
Kershaw last pitched for the Dodgers on June 26, allowing four runs on nine hits to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and suffering his second loss of the season.
Both the Dodgers and Kershaw have refrained from providing much details on his recovery and a potential date. Roberts has expressed general optimism the 28-year-old would return this season, pointing to some time in September as the likely timeframe.
The Dodgers have essentially rallied around the absence of their ace and stormed to the top of the National League West standings.