Clayton Kershaw to Rehab Shoulder Injury with Simulated Game; Return Uncertain

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws during the first inning of Game 5 of the baseball NL Championship Series game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Los Angeles. Kershaw and the Dodgers want some more time to consider their possible future together. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and the team have agreed to extend the deadline on his option decision by 40 hours until 1 p.m. PDT Friday. (AP Photo/Jae Hong, File)
Jae Hong/Associated Press

There is no timetable for Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw to make his 2019 regular-season debut, but he continues to make progress as he works his way back from a shoulder injury.

"He's in a really good spot right now physically," Los Angeles skipper Dave Roberts said of his ace on MLB Network's "Inside Pitch" on Friday.

Kershaw is scheduled to throw a three-inning simulated game on Saturday.

Kershaw was sidelined near the start of spring training in February due to inflammation in his left shoulder. He received anti-inflammatory medication to treat the issue.

Roberts let it be known back on March 19 that the southpaw would not be ready for the start of the season. Kershaw was placed on the injured list retroactive to March 25, allowing him to be activated on April 4. The injury snapped his streak of eight consecutive Opening Day starts, a franchise record.

"When he's ready to pitch for us is when he'll pitch for us," Roberts said earlier this month, per ESPN.com.

Injuries have plagued Kershaw in recent seasons. As the Los Angeles Times' Jorge Castillo noted, the seven-time All-Star has now been placed on the injured (or the formerly disabled) list six times in his career. He has made more than 27 starts in a (regular) season just once since 2013.

Kershaw made a couple of trips to the DL a season ago due to left biceps tendinitis and lower-back strain, leading him to make only 26 starts. He has also dealt with a mild herniated disc in the past.

Through all of the injuries, though, the 2014 National League MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner went 9-5 with a 2.31 ERA last year, striking out 155 batters in 161.1 innings. 

Kershaw made six postseason appearances in 2018 as the Dodgers made their second consecutive trip to the World Series. He went 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA while striking out 26 hitters in 30 innings.

With Kershaw and Rich Hill (knee) out, veteran left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu received the Opening Day nod. The rotation is filled out by Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.

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