Kershaw throws 25 pitches in pregame bullpen session
LOS ANGELES (AP) Clayton Kershaw threw 25 pitches off a mound Sunday and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said there was ''definitely encouraging'' progress in the left-hander's rehab from a back injury.
The Dodgers have not set a timetable for the three-time Cy Young Award winner's return.
''He will not be in the rotation when we come back from the break,'' Roberts said.
Bud Norris, Brandon McCarthy and Kenta Maeda are scheduled to pitch the three games beginning Friday in Arizona. Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the first two games in Washington on July 19 and 20.
Asked if Kershaw could join the Dodgers' rotation after each pitcher takes one turn, Roberts said he was ''not sure.''
''No, Kershaw and everyone is going to stay in their turn, so however it lines up after that,'' Roberts said.
Kershaw (11-2, 1.79) is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Monday. The team placed him on the DL on July 1, retroactive to June 27 with a ''mild disc herniation'' in his back.
Kershaw complained of increased back stiffness after his June 26 start, when he gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings in Pittsburgh. He returned to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins three days later, and received an epidural to relieve the pain.
On Sunday, Kershaw took the mound in the Dodgers' bullpen about two hours before their final game before the All-Star break against the San Diego Padres. He threw from a windup to catcher A.J. Ellis.
''He's a throwing a little touch-and-feel light pen,'' Roberts said before the game. ''It's not going to be over the top. It's going to be 20-25 pitches, something like that.''
Kershaw threw three pitches with Ellis standing behind the plate before the catcher dropped into a crouch for the final 22 pitches of the 10-minute session conducted with team physicians looking on. Roberts watched the final dozen or so pitches at the bullpen gate.
''To see Clayton throwing in a pen off a mound is definitely encouraging,'' Roberts said.
Kershaw warmed up with 120-foot tosses on the field at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, and followed that by throwing from 60 feet from a windup off flat ground.