How Clayton Kershaw's rehabilitation setback affects his timetable to return to Dodgers

A week ago, Clayton Kershaw’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery was temporarily paused because of lingering soreness.

While discussing the situation for the first time Tuesday, the 36-year-old Dodgers pitcher smirked when asked what happened.

“Just some old-man shoulder, a little bit,” he deadpanned. “There’s some wear and tear in there. But nothing new.”

The end of that answer was the most important development Kershaw shared with reporters Tuesday, explaining away last week’s soreness as less of a “setback” and more a normal sidetrack in his recovery from shoulder surgery in November.

“I feel like the upward trajectory has been pretty steady up to this point,” said Kershaw, who underwent surgery to repair his shoulder capsule and glenohumeral ligaments. “I just think it’s just like getting your feet underneath you a little bit.”

Kershaw had an MRI last week that confirmed no new damage in his shoulder, and also was given some “shots” to help alleviate the soreness he reported to team personnel following his first minor-league rehabilitation start on June 19.

This week, Kershaw resumed playing catch in the outfield of Dodger Stadium. On Wednesday, he is scheduled to throw a bullpen session.

“He looks really good,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I would argue that he looks even better than he did even when he was kind of making his way back a few weeks ago, at this point in time. So I’m really encouraged by it.”

When Kershaw will rejoin the Dodgers’ rotation is less clear.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner initially had been targeting a comeback in late July or August. He is hopeful that timeframe hasn’t been significantly altered by his week off from throwing.

“I think having this little couple day reset should help,” Kershaw said, noting that he feels more comfortable trying to “push through stuff” now that he knows his shoulder is continuing to recover properly.

“Obviously, any time it doesn’t feel good, you get worried just because you’ve been down that road,” Kershaw said. “But it was a good outcome with everything. The timeline is still on our side. … It could have been a lot worse, for sure.”

The closer Kershaw gets to returning, he said, the harder it has become for him to watch games from the dugout.

“I don’t want to say it’s been miserable, because I’ve gotten to spend time with my family and have a lot more family time and be able to hang out with them more,” he said. “But I mean, yeah. You don’t feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

“Kind of tasting being able to be back out there, each day is starting to be a little bit more tedious,” he added. “I get it now. Rehab’s not fun.”

For the time being, at least, Kershaw’s rehab is back on schedule, keeping him on track to return before the end of the season.

“I’m not going to be happy until I get to go back out there,” he said.

Other pitching updates

More than two weeks since he strained his rotator cuff, Yoshinobu Yamamoto has not started throwing again. But Roberts said he believed the pitcher was “pain-free” and hoped Yamamoto would resume playing catch “soon.”

“He’s getting worked on, he’s doing a lot of shoulder exercises, non-throwing stuff,” Roberts said. “But I don’t know when that time is he’s gonna pick up a baseball.”

Walker Buehler seems closer to returning from the injured list. Roberts said the hip issue that sidelined the right-hander last month has since “calmed down,” and that Buehler is now working with private pitching coaches “off-site” in Florida to refine his delivery after his struggles returning from Tommy John surgery.

“The plan is, as soon as we can, get him on a rehab assignment,” Roberts said. “I just don’t know when that’s gonna be.”

In the bullpen, injured reliever Joe Kelly was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night, though Roberts still didn’t expect the right-hander to return from his shoulder injury until after the All-Star break.

“He could surprise me,” Roberts said, “but I think that three or four [rehab outings for him] is totally the floor, reasonably.”

Brusdar Graterol is “making some headway” in his recovery from a shoulder injury that has kept him out all season, according to Roberts. Graterol is expected to begin throwing simulated games at the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch facility in Arizona soon.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top