Clayton Kershaw last pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 3, but he appears to be on the verge of returning from the 60-day injured list.
Kershaw spent the past few weeks building up through a throwing program that led into a pair of simulated games before making a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday. He threw 49 pitches over the scheduled three innings.
“It felt good getting to be back out there. Felt alright overall, stuff wasn’t that great, but I did it and got through it,” Kershaw said after the game.
Having checked off that box, the next key was how Kershaw would respond to pitching in an actual game. He didn’t report any setbacks and now anticipates returning to the Dodgers rotation on Monday, via SportsNet LA:
“I actually feel pretty good, so thankful for that. Looking like next step will throw a bullpen on Friday and I’m going to pitch on Monday. Pretty sure it’s going to be with the Dodgers, so it’s exciting.”
Should Kershaw be activated next week, his start will come on an extra day of rest compared to a normal turn in the rotation.
The 33-year-old may only be stretched out to four innings or 60 pitches, but that would still represent a boon considering the Dodgers have relied on openers and bullpen games for several weeks.
“Obviously I would love to throw 110 and be ready to throw seven or eight, but that’s just not the reality of it,” Kershaw said. “Just try to keep building and get to 60 in whatever I do next.”
Kershaw eyeing October
Still needing to build up his pitch count, Kershaw is maintaining some optimism down the line.
“I mean, ideally I’d love to throw long. I think the reality is that just wasn’t going to happen,” he said. “I think with the calendar and things like that, I think by the time October rolls around, I should be up to 100 pitches or so, which is the goal.
“But it’s going to take some work. I’ve got to keep going and keep building. The buildup process is definitely not over yet, for sure.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!