July 20, 2024

Clayton Kershaw resumes throwing, getting anxious to return to Dodgers

Dodgers left-hander is throwing again after getting shut down for a week with shoulder soreness. Kershaw could resume a rehab assignment soon. On his rehab from shoulder surgery, Kershaw said, “I’m ready to be done with it, but we’ve got a little more time to go.”

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was back on the field at Dodger Stadium, playing catch before Tuesday’s game against the D-backs, his second day in a row throwing after getting shut down for a week with shoulder soreness.

“He looks really good. I would argue that he looks better than he did than when he was making his way back a few weeks ago” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday. “I’m really encouraged by it, just watching him stretch it out.”

Kershaw pitched in one rehab start for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga on June 19, striking out five in three innings and 36 pitches, allowing a run. He was slated to make a start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on June 25 in Reno, but those plans were scrapped when soreness in Kershaw’s shoulder prevented him from airing it out during a bullpen session on June 22 at Dodger Stadium.

“To me it was pretty simple — can you throw or can you not?” Kershaw said Tuesday. “If you can do it, do it, and if you can’t, can’t. I just couldn’t do it, so I stopped.”

Kershaw said he couldn’t pinpoint whether the soreness in his shoulder was more of the normal post-start kind, or something related to his surgery in November, the first procedure of his career. He did say he got “some shots,” which helped alleviate the discomfort.

An MRI on the last homestand showed no new damage to Kershaw’s shoulder.

“I think with the MRI and the outcome, it was as good a — obviously it doesn’t feel good to get worried, just because you’ve been down that road,” Kershaw said. “The timeline is still on our side.”

Up next will be a bullpen session on Wednesday, and then potentially a rehab start at some point after that, maybe as soon as this weekend. Roberts didn’t want to put a timetable on Kershaw’s return, but a best-case scenario seems some time after the All-Star break.

Ultimately, the Dodgers want Kershaw healthy and productive enough to pitch in October, which will require a good number of starts down the stretch in the regular season.

“Right now, where we’re at, seven or eight starts to fell really good going in,” Roberts said. “At the end of the day, we want him as fresh and as sharp as possible. But I think he rightfully wants more.”

Kershaw seems anxious to be pitching in games that matter again.

“You don’t feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Even though it was kind of part of the deal with the surgery, you knew you’d be out for some time,” Kershaw said. “Being around it more now, getting closer, and kind of tasting being able to be back out there, each day is starting to be a little more tedious.

“I get it. I mean, rehab is not fun. Guys have had to do it over and over again. It’s a grind mentally for sure. A little more respect for guys that have come back from big stuff all the time. I’m ready to be done with it, but we’ve got a little more time to go.”

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