Dodgers Rumors: Clayton Kershaw Expected To Miss 4-6 Weeks With Back Injury
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Having survived 10 weeks last season without Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers on the verge of life without their ace for a second time in as many years. Kershaw was removed from his start Sunday due what the team called right low back tightness.

Kershaw explained postgame he felt “a little something in my back that wasn’t normal” while warming up for his second and final inning of work. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and trainer Nate Lucero checked on Kershaw, who made practice throws prior to finishing out the inning.

Kershaw and Roberts both expressed cautious hope and optimism the injury is not as serious as the mild herniated disc that previously shelved the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

That may not be the case, but Kershaw is still expected to miss a minimum of one month, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

Roberts said Sunday he believed Kershaw’s latest back trouble was more muscle-related. The second-year manager was encouraged by the fact that his ace was not experiencing shooting pains or sensations down his legs.

While losing a pitcher of Kershaw’s caliber leaves a significant void in the rotation, the Dodgers have the luxury of a 10.5-game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the National League West standings.

It’s unclear what impact, if any, Kershaw’s injury and projected timetable will have on the Dodgers ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. The club has recently been linked to Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish.

Regardless, Los Angeles presumably will take a steady approach with their ace. It’s possible an aggressive recovery attempt last year led to a setback, which in turn correlated to additional time missed.