Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (back) could return next week

null null null null null null null null null Baseball Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, sidelined since June 26 with a herniated disk in his lower back, could return as early as next week but is expected on the mound by the end of July at worst, manager Dave Roberts said Thursday.MORE: SN manager rankings | SN Top 50 players Roberts' timetable is good news for a Dodgers team, 51-40 and 6 1/2 games back of the first-place Giants, that is hoping to build on a strong finish to the first half.According to the Los Angeles Times, Kershaw (11-2, 1.79 ERA) threw

60 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday. He is expected to face hitters in a simulated game Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Neither Roberts nor Kershaw thinks he'll need a rehab assignment, bringing into play a possible return next week.“For Clayton, not a whole lot is left,” Roberts told reporters. “We’re just trying to still be mindful in terms of what’s in his best interests, now and going forward. But we expected him to make our decision a lot tougher. His health and the way his body’s responded is pretty exciting for us.”Roberts has set his rotation to start the second half, and it doesn't include Kershaw: Bud Norris is slated to start Friday at Arizona, followed by Brandon McCarthy and Kenta Maeda. The Dodgers then head to Washington, where Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu will face the Nationals in the first two games of a three-game series.That's where it gets interesting. Roberts won't say the rotation will be the same five starters the next time through, which leaves it open for Kershaw to return Thursday on four days' rest from his simulated game this weekend.

About the Author

You may also like these