Clayton Kershaw Is Close to Returning to Dodgers from Injury, Says Dave Roberts

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2017

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw celebrates after striking out Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar to end a baseball game, Sunday, July 9, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday ace Clayton Kershaw is "close" to returning to the team's rotation after a stint on the disabled list with a back injury.

Roberts noted Kershaw will throw a bullpen session in the coming days before deciding the next step in his recovery, per ESPN.com. There's still no official timetable for his return despite the improved outlook following his Tuesday throwing session, though.

"He's close," Roberts said. "I think it just makes sense for us to be cautious. We just don't want to put ourselves in any situation where there's a setback. The calendar's on our side. I know that Clayton resists that. But I think as an organization it's best for him and best for all of us to err on the side of caution."

Kershaw hasn't made a start since July 23 when he left his outing against the Atlanta Braves after two scoreless innings.

The 29-year-old seven-time All-Star selection and three-time Cy Young Award winner was his typically dominant self before the injury. He's posted a 2.04 ERA and 0.88 WHIP with 168 strikeouts in 141.1 innings across 21 starts in 2017.

On Tuesday, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times passed along comments from Kershaw, who said he's recovered and is now focused on getting his stamina back.

"I feel healthy," he said. "I think now it's just a matter of building back up at a good pace and, obviously, understanding where we're at and the timeline and all that stuff. I don't feel like I've lost much. But, being a starter, you've gotta build your innings back and all that. So, it's gonna take a little bit of time to do that."

Los Angeles can afford to let him take it slow. It owns a 79-33 record, eight games better than any other team in baseball, and should cruise to a postseason berth.

The big-spending Dodgers also made a bold move ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline to acquire Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers. The deal bolstered an already rock-solid rotation and gave the team an insurance policy should its ace have any setbacks.

That said, adding a healthy Kershaw to an already formidable roster would make L.A. even more of a favorite heading into the playoffs.

Related

    Unreal Old Japanese HR Derby Ft. Bonds, Giambi & Bernie

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Unreal Old Japanese HR Derby Ft. Bonds, Giambi & Bernie

    Barry Petchesky
    via Deadspin

    Report: O's Have Deal in Place for Machado

    Los Angeles Dodgers logo
    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Report: O's Have Deal in Place for Machado

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Rare Mantle Card Insured for $12M

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Rare Mantle Card Insured for $12M

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Max Muncy Impresses in Home Run Derby

    Los Angeles Dodgers logo
    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Max Muncy Impresses in Home Run Derby

    Blake Harris
    via Dodgers Nation