Long before Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw‘s scheduled evaluation with back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday, reports began to surface on Twitter, most specifically from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, indicating that the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner will presumably miss four to six weeks after a back injury became evident in Sunday’s series finale against the Braves.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com later confirmed Rosenthal’s findings, listing an unnamed baseball source.
After breezing through the first inning with only eight pitches, Kershaw was erratic on two straight pitches in the second frame, prompting a visit from skipper Dave Roberts and a team trainer. He would eventually finish the inning, but disappeared into the clubhouse while the Dodgers were batting.
Los Angeles ultimately walked off to a 5-4 victory on Logan Forsythe‘s RBI single in the bottom of the first frame of extras.
Andy put together a minute-by-minute recollection of the game as all the events occurred in real time.
Speaking to reporters after the contest, Roberts said that Kersh felt something during his warmup tosses prior to the second inning. He explained that it appeared the injury was muscular in nature, as opposed to being disc or spine related. Kershaw missed 2-1/2 months last season with a herniated disc, but the initial prognosis was the exact same — only four to six weeks.
“A lot of frustration,” Kershaw said afterwards. “I’ve done countless hours of back maintenance and rehab just trying to stay healthy and felt really, really good up to this point. There’s definitely frustration, for sure.”
The good news is because of no games being scheduled for the Dodgers this coming Thursday and Monday, Kershaw’s turn in the rotation won’t come up again until the beginning of August. However, Roberts did indicate that veteran righty Brandon McCarthy will also be placed on the 10-day disabled list with an infected finger blister when Hyun-Jin Ryu is activated on Monday. That leaves Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill and Ryu to anchor the rotation until either Brock Stewart or Ross Stripling are stretched out, unless the club does indeed trade for another starter ahead of the non-waiver deadline on July 31.
Be sure to check back here for updates regarding any official roster moves ahead of Monday evenings 7:10 p.m. PT first pitch.
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