Clayton Kershaw Injury: Updates on Dodgers Pitcher's Back and Return

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

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Updates from Tuesday, May 6

The Dodgers' official Twitter feed released Tuesday's lineup that features Clayton Kershaw's return to the mound:

Los Angeles also announced the roster move to make room for Kershaw's arrival:

Updates from Saturday, May 3

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com had the latest on on Clayton Kershaw's rehab as he tries to return to the starting rotation:

Updates from Friday, May 2

MLB.com's Ken Gurnick has an update on when to expect Kershaw back on the mound:

Updates from Thursday, May 1

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register has the latest on Kershaw's status:

Updates from Wednesday, April 30

The Dodgers provide Clayton Kershaw's line from his rehab start:

Updates from Monday, April 28

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Anthony Witrado of ESPNLosAngeles.com provides a statement from Clayton Kershaw discussing his injury status:

Clayton Kershaw will make one more rehab start before returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the left-handed ace didn't hide his feelings as he voiced his displeasure at the move Sunday.


"Not really," Kershaw said Sunday when asked if he was satisfied with the Dodgers' decision. "I did the best I could, but I'm not going to fight the team if everybody doesn't want me to do something. It's what they want me to do."

Bill Plunket of the Orange County Register confirms where Kershaw will be playing next, and when he will likely make his 2014 debut:

Updates from Sunday, April 27

Much to Clayton Kershaw's dismay, his next start will not be at the major league level, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

Updates from Saturday, April 26

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times provides an update on Clayton Kershaw's recovery:

ESPN.com's Mark Saxon has an update on Kershaw's rehab:

 Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw breezed through five innings in a minor league rehabilitation assignment for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night.

Neither Kershaw nor the team is ruling out the possibility his next start could be in the major leagues.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly originally said Kershaw would need at least two minor league outings as he works his way back from an inflamed teres major muscle near his left shoulder. 

But that was before Kershaw needed just 56 pitches to strike out six of the Houston Astros' Class A batters, allowing two hits, including a home run to infielder Carlos Perdomo.

"I don't know yet," Kershaw said when asked where he'd like to pitch next. "I'm not sure what I want to do or the team wants to do or if they align or anything like that. I'm not planning on any confusion, though."

Updates from Wednesday, April 23

Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com and Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times report on the latest news regarding Clayton Kershaw:

Updates from Monday, April 21

The Dodgers posted a video of Clayton Kershaw playing long toss on their Twitter account:

Updates from Sunday, April 20

Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com confirms Clayton Kershaw is tossing to catcher A.J. Ellis:

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times provided a synopsis of Kershaw discussing his injury status:

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register continued with an additional statement from Kershaw:

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times provided a statement from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly prior to Kershaw's participation:

If Kershaw comes out of his Sunday effort OK, Mattingly was uncertain what would come next.

“It’s probably too early for a timetable,” Mattingly said. “He just seems to be stepping forward. But obviously as we get moving he’s going to have to go out and throw somewhere.”

Mattingly said he wasn’t sure whether Kershaw would need more bullpen sessions, simulated games or some combination before going out on a rehab assignment.

Updates from Thursday, April 17

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has an encouraging update on Clayton Kershaw's rehab:

Kershaw threw 35 pitches, with a five-minute break in between to simulate the up and down of an inning. He threw breaking balls off a mound for the first time and finished with a lively fastball that appeared well in excess of the mid-80s restriction he's been under.

"He had a little more velocity, but I didn't see any 95s," said Don Mattingly, the manager of expectations with Kershaw. "He threw harder than the day before. He'll throw every other day."

Kershaw still needs to continue building arm strength, but he appears healed from the teres major muscle strain he suffered in Australia. Mattingly would not speculate when Kershaw would be ready to begin a Minor League rehab assignment.

Updates from Saturday, April 12

Orange County Register reporter Bill Plunkett has an update on Kershaw:

Updates from Tuesday, April 1

The Los Angeles Dodgers released a statement on Clayton Kershaw's injury and recovery:

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times provided an update on Kershaw's status:

Updates from Sunday, March 30

ESPN's Buster Olney provides an update on Clayton Kershaw's status just as Sunday night's game against the San Diego Padres began: 

Updates from Saturday, March 29

The Dodgers announced they have placed Clayton Kershaw on the DL:

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times initially reported the news and details:

Original Text:

Defending National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from his scheduled start Sunday against the San Diego Padres after undergoing an MRI that showed inflammation in his back, the Dodgers announced Wednesday.

The severity of the inflammation is unclear, and the Dodgers did not indicate when Kershaw suffered the injury. The team said doctors will be monitoring his progress in the interim and have a recovery timetable when they get a better idea of how Kershaw is responding to rest. There was no announcement about whether he will hit the disabled list.

Kershaw briefly spoke about the injury:

Kershaw, 26, threw 6.2 innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks this past weekend in the Dodgers' season-opening series in Australia. After struggling mightily throughout spring training, Kershaw's return to form was a pleasant surprise for the Dodgers. He struck out seven batters and was in control of nearly his entire repertoire, walking just one.

As Bleacher Report's Zach Rymer noted, the Australian audience didn't seem to notice any signs of injury:

"Sometimes you just need the adrenaline of a regular-season game, and I just kind of feel relieved to get this one under my belt," Kershaw told reporters, according to The Associated Press (via ESPN). "It's always good to get results, obviously. This one counted."

Los Angeles went 2-0 on the trip Down Under and resumed spring-training activities upon returning to the States. 

Given the rest time between the Australia trip and Sunday's game in San Diego, Zack Greinke or Hyun-Jin Ryu are the likeliest replacement options. Ryu went five scoreless innings in a 7-5 win over the Diamondbacks in the second game of their series. Greinke had a slow start to the spring, but he has been rounding into shape of late.

That said, who starts the team's opening night stateside is secondary to the long-term health of Kershaw. The Dodgers signed their ace to a record seven-year, $215 million extension this offseason, the largest deal for a pitcher in history and highest annual salary of any player in MLB. A two-time Cy Young winner, Kershaw has made at least 30 starts in each of the last five seasons and has been one of baseball's most reliable pitchers.

Holding him out of Sunday's start seems like a precaution at this point, but back injuries are notoriously fickle. One little tweak while trying to rehab the injury, and Kershaw could end up on the disabled list. With the Dodgers coming into 2014 with World Series expectations, Kershaw is the last player they can afford to lose for an extended period.

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