Still no date for Clayton Kershaw’s return to action

Rays at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Bud Norris, P

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw can’t limbo, so he’s still in limbo.

That’s today’s scoop, or lack thereof, on the injured Dodger ace, who has now gone one full month since he last pitched before landing on the disabled list with a herniated disc.

Kershaw was eyeing a fast return until he had a setback following a bullpen session July 16, when something “didn’t feel quite right.”

“All I can say is I’m doing everything I possibly can to get back, obviously,” Kershaw said. “I trust the trainers and coaches to get me there.”

Kershaw said that he had a personal timetable for his return before he was forced to press pause, but that now his view is more open-ended and centers around checking off recovery milestones when he can, so that he can still have “an impact on this season” for the Dodgers.

“There’s a lot of gray area, I guess would be the right way to say it,” he said. “You just have to go based on your symptoms. I didn’t have any pain leading up to when I pitched. Then I pitched, and I felt pain again, so now I just have to wait until I don’t feel pain again.

“As of today, I did all my core work, and knocked it out today. Today I made it. On to tomorrow.”

The only saving grace for the fiercely competitive Kershaw has been that the Dodgers have gone 15-8 in his absence.

“It has been so fun to watch, man,” he said. “It’s not easy watching the games on TV, but these guys really make me want to be a part of it, just the way these guys are playing. It’s a great team — it really is. One of the closest teams that I’ve been a part of.

Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals“It’s hard to be away. I hate it. But really happy that they’re doing so well, and hopefully I can make it back and help out in some way.”

The 28-year-old gave a mixed answer with regard to what kind of move the Dodgers should or will make before this year’s August 1 non-waiver trade deadline.

“I know Andrew (Friedman), Farhan (Zaidi) and all the guys upstairs are obviously canvassing every type of opportunity we have,” Kershaw said. “It’s a weird trade market this year, just from my perspective. I’m not sure, but it just seems like there’s not a whole lot out there, and what is out there costs a whole lot. So we’ll see. But our team is playing really well right now. I don’t know if we need (a trade), but it’d always be nice.”

Kershaw has only been injured once before in his big-league career, following the Dodgers’ season-opening 2014 trip to Australia.

“It’s hard not to pitch,” he said. “That’s what I love to do. You realize how much you love the game when you’re away from it, how much you take it for granted. Being healthy’s something that really is a blessing.”

1 Comment

It’s probably not surprising given how good he is but Clayton is clearly a very smart guy. He seems to have more competitive drive than most players, but he also has the presence of mind to be able to step back and look at things realistically.

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