Ker­shaw says he feels fine

The Dodgers ace de­clares his back is­sue healed ARI­ZONA 6 DODGERS 3

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Pe­dro Moura

PHOENIX — Clayton Ker­shaw met his Dodgers team­mates in Phoenix on Tues­day, com­pleted a work­out in­side the haven from heat that is Chase Field, and pro­nounced him­self re­cov­ered from the lower-back strain that has forced him to miss his last two starts.

“I feel healthy,” Ker­shaw said be­fore the Dodgers lost 6-3 to the Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs. “I think now it’s just a mat­ter of build­ing back up at a good pace and, ob­vi­ously, un­der­stand­ing where we’re at and the time­line and all that stuff. I don’t feel like I’ve lost much. But, be­ing a starter, you’ve gotta build your in­nings back and all that. So, it’s gonna take a lit­tle bit of time to do that.”

Ker­shaw hurt his back dur­ing his July 23 start at Dodger Sta­dium. The ini­tial es­ti­mate for his ab­sence was four to six weeks, though the team never an­nounced it as such and Ker­shaw dis­puted pub­lished re­ports.

Since last week, he has pushed to re­sume throw­ing off a mound. Be­fore his team

squan­dered a late lead to lose Tues­day, Man­ager Dave Roberts said he ex­pects that to hap­pen this week­end at Dodger Sta­dium, af­ter the team con­cludes its cur­rent ninegame trip.

Once the left-han­der proves ca­pa­ble of that, the Dodgers will sim­u­late a game for him to pitch, re­plete with breaks be­tween in­nings. The last box to check will be a mi­nor league start on re­hab as­sign­ment.

The pre­req­ui­sites mean he won’t make his re­turn un­til more than four weeks have passed since his in­jury.

“If you’re not throw­ing in­nings, if you’re not sit­ting down and get­ting back up, you in­her­ently lose a lit­tle bit of your stamina and en­durance, prob­a­bly,” Ker­shaw said, not­ing that he had taken only a few days off from throw­ing. “I’m gonna have to sim­u­late all of that at some point, go through the whole bullpen, sim game, re­hab, all that stuff. But I feel healthy right now, so that’s good.”

He said he was not sur­prised to feel quick im­prove­ment. Im­me­di­ately, he dis­cerned the in­jury was not as se­vere as the her­ni­ated disk he suf­fered in the same area a year ago, when he missed 75 days. The en­su­ing MRI exam as­suaged any lin­ger­ing con­cerns when it con­firmed there was no disk dam­age.

Some­times speaking of the team as if he were not part of it, Ker­shaw said he was pleased to see the Dodgers do­ing so well without him. In­clud­ing the game in which he was hurt, the team has won 12 times in 14 tries, gal­lop­ing along on a pace that would chal­lenge the sport’s all-time best.

“Ev­ery­thing’s pretty good right now,” Ker­shaw said. “It’s fun to see the pub­lic­ity these guys are get­ting now that they’re win­ning so many games. It’s fun to see them play­ing so well. But as far as break­ing records and ev­ery- thing, I don’t think we need to pay at­ten­tion to it. I don’t think we re­ally care.”

He said he sensed his team­mates were fo­cused on the play­offs, which he re­ferred to as “an 11-game sprint.”

As new Dodgers righthander Yu Darvish said last week, Ker­shaw con­firmed he told Darvish at the All-Star game he was look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing him to the team at the July 31 trade dead­line. But Ker­shaw claimed he was jok­ing when he en­coun­tered Darvish in the Mar­lins Park weight room.

“An­drew [Fried­man] and Farhan [Zaidi] made me look good,” Ker­shaw said of the Dodgers top ex­ec­u­tives, both of whom are in Phoenix for the se­ries with Ari­zona.

Ker­shaw brushed off con­cerns that the club will have trou­ble find­ing in­nings for all of its start­ing pitch­ers come play­off time. Two men who have pitched past post­sea­son games as Dodgers, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu, are now un­likely to make any Oc­to­ber starts, if they even make the Dodgers ros­ter.

No mat­ter, Ker­shaw said. It will all sort it­self out, he said, point­ing out that it re­peat­edly has through­out this im­prob­a­ble sea­son.

“Thanks to me,” Ker­shaw said, “some­body’s al­ways hurt.”

Matt York Associated Press

JAKE LAMB (22) is greeted by Ari­zona team­mates Adam Ros­ales (9) and A.J. Pol­lock af­ter hit­ting a grand slam in the sev­enth in­ning against the Dodgers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.