Kershaw plays catch, Dodgers hope for September return
LOS ANGELES (AP) Clayton Kershaw resumed baseball activities on Sunday with a game of catch as he continued his attempt to return to the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season.
''Clayton played catch today, first day. I haven't heard how he came out of it, but today was that first day,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ''I'm sure there was some soreness, but it was good to see him with a baseball in his hand.''
Sidelined since his last start on June 26, Kershaw (mild herniated disc) was moved to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday and is not eligible to return until Aug. 27.
''I think that all along we've expected, and a little bit of it is being hopeful, for him to make starts for us this year in September,'' said Roberts.
The next step for Kershaw will be another session of catch ''just a little further out,'' with team doctors hoping to ''just continue to get his intensity up and stretch him out,'' Roberts said.
With less than two months left in the season, the Dodgers plan to start their three-time Cy Young Award winner as soon as he's ready and cleared by team doctors, no matter if its a regular-season or playoff game.
''Any time he can get back we'll take Clayton,'' Roberts said when asked if he thought Kershaw would need regular-season starts to be ready should the Dodgers reach the postseason.
''There's not going to be a rehab situation, there's not going to be opportunity,'' Roberts said. ''So when he does get back it's going to be bullpens and live (batting practices) kind of thing I think. Whenever he feels he's ready to go we're going to pencil him in, get him going.''
Kershaw (11-4, 1.79) gave up four runs in six innings against Pittsburgh on June 26. After the start he complained of increased back stiffness.
Placed on the disabled list the next day, Kershaw was given an epidural to reduce his back pain, and had worked himself back to a point where he threw a simulated game on July 16. Unfortunately, he aggravated the injury, ceased all baseball activities and resumed strengthening his back and core muscles, until Sunday.
''Clayton is not a guy we worry about when it comes to intensity and his intent to get back,'' said Roberts. ''He'll be back as soon as he possibly can.''