The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the 10-day injured list July 7 due to left forearm inflammation and have been without him since that point, though due to elbow soreness and a setback suffered in the initial recovery attempt.
Even with that, Kershaw and the Dodgers are in a better position than what could have been. There were many reasons to be worried as forearm injuries often lead to Tommy John surgery or similarly significant injury.
Luckily for the Dodgers and Kershaw, an MRI showed it was just inflammation with no structural damage in his arm.
Kershaw regularly has voiced his frustration with the prolonged recovery process and attempting to rush his return. The 33-year-old additional revealed he feared a more serious injury at the time of experiencing forearm trouble, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I really haven’t had many elbow things before,” the Dodgers left-hander said. “It wasn’t like a one-pitch deal. It’s something that’s been building over time. It was good to get a good bill of health from an MRI, for sure. I wasn’t, I don’t want to say nervous. But I’d never really had any elbow stuff. So it was a little uneasy, I guess.”
Since the initial concern, Kershaw has said he is more optimistic with progress that’s been made. As he lets the injury heal, the Dodgers have been committed to remaining cautious in order to avoid any setbacks and make sure he is healthy for October.
Kershaw is hopeful to return as a starting pitcher, but said he would work out of the bullpen if that’s all the calendar allowed for or it was what the team needed.
This season, Kershaw has thrown 106.1 innings with a 3.39 ERA and 2.99 FIP. He has already thrown nearly 50 more innings than he did during last year’s pandemic-shortened season.
Next step for Kershaw
Kershaw threw a second bullpen session in the past week, incorporating his breaking balls and increasing the overall number of pitches thrown. He was back to playing catch Saturday and could throw another bullpen session or face batters on Monday.
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