Clayton Kershaw Heading to 10-Day DL Due to Back Injury Suffered vs. Braves

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 1:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the game at AT&T Park on Saturday, October 1, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Brad Mangin/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw left Sunday's game against the Atlanta Braves with a back injury.

Though there was initially some mystery about the cause of his departure, the team announced Kershaw experienced tightness in his right lower back.

After the game, manager Dave Roberts said, "It is a DL situation. He'll take 10 days regardless," per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. Roberts added that Kershaw felt something in his back while warming up for the second inning, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, who added he will undergo further tests.

He lasted just two innings before leaving with two strikeouts and just one walk allowed. ESPN Stats & Info noted it was the third-shortest start in his career.

Unfortunately for the southpaw, bumps and bruises are nothing new.

Kershaw was shut down indefinitely last July after he was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his lower back, and that forced Los Angeles to trudge on without its best player.

In 16 starts before the 2016 All-Star break, Kershaw was 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA to go with 145 strikeouts and just nine walks. He also held opposing batters to a .185 average during that 121-inning stretch. All told, he flummoxed opponents, recording a 16.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio before hitting the shelf.

Kershaw finished the regular season with a 12-4 record, 1.69 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 172 strikeouts and 11 walks in 21 starts.

He has been lights-out to start the 2017 season and entered Sunday with an MLB-best 2.07 ERA and 15-2 record. He also had an impressive 0.89 WHIP.

If Kershaw's latest ailment is serious enough that he's forced to miss a start or starts, the Dodgers will need the rest of their starting rotation to band together and pick up the slack in his stead.


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