Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw to Make 2020 Debut Sunday vs. D-Backs After Back Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 31, 2020

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during intrasquad play in the restart of baseball spring training Monday, July 6, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw will be making his 2020 season debut on Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, manager Dave Roberts told reporters (h/t Ken Gurnick of MLB.com) Friday. 

Roberts also announced that Walker Buehler will take the mound next on Monday at the San Diego Padres.

Kershaw was scheduled to start Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, July 23, but the left-hander was scratched for Dustin May because of back stiffness.

He was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 20. An MRI on Kershaw's back was negative, per SportsNet LA Dodgers reporter Alanna Rizzo.

Kershaw has experienced multiple back issues in the past.

In 2016, the left-hander suffered a mild herniated disc and went on the 15-day injured list in June. He felt more back discomfort while pitching a simulated game during rehab in July and was sidelined until September 9.

Kershaw left a July 23, 2017 game due to back tightness, and he felt more back pain in a May 31, 2018 start.

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Kershaw originally felt back tightness this year while working out in the weight room on Tuesday, July 21. An MRI revealed no further issue, but per ESPN's Alden Gonzalez, "he received treatment over the next couple of days but couldn't get his back loose enough to make his first start."

He's good to go for Sunday, though, as he looks to build off a 2019 season where he finished 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA and 189 strikeouts.

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