Ker­shaw’s back puts him on DL

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers ace Clay­ton Ker­shaw is ex­pected to miss four to six weeks based on an ini­tial di­ag­no­sis of his in­jured back. The Dodgers of­fi­cially will de­ter­mine how long Ker­shaw will be side­lined af­ter the three-time Cy Young Award win­ner vis­its with the team’s back spe­cial­ist, Dr. Robert Watkins. The news was first re­ported Mon­day by Fox Sports.

Dodgers Man­ager Dave Roberts later told re­porters there is no timetable yet for Ker­shaw’s re­turn, but he has been placed on the 10day dis­abled list.

A year af­ter miss­ing 2½ months with a her­ni­ated disk in his lower back, Ker­shaw was pulled from a start Sun­day against At­lanta be­cause of lower back tight­ness. He ex­ited af­ter two in­nings in a 5-4, 10-in­ning vic­tory.

It leaves base­ball’s top team with­out its best pitcher. The Dodgers lead the ma­jors with a 68-31 record en­ter­ing Mon­day and were

atop the NL West stand­ings by 10½ games.

Ker­shaw is 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA. The Dodgers are 19-2 when he starts this sea­son.

Roberts de­clined to spec­u­late on the sever­ity of Ker­shaw’s in­jury or how long the left-han­der could be out af­ter the game Sun­day.

Ker­shaw said he got hurt while tak­ing warm-up throws be­fore the sec­ond in­ning af­ter re­tir­ing the side on eight pitches in the first.

“Just felt a lit­tle some­thing in my back that wasn’t nor­mal,” he said.

The Dodgers were 41-36 when Ker­shaw went down last sea­son and trailed San Fran­cisco by eight games. In his ab­sence, Los Angeles went 38-24 and moved into first place by five games by the time he re­turned in early Septem­ber. Ker­shaw didn’t need surgery last year and pitched the Dodgers into the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries, where they lost to the even­tual World Se­ries cham­pion Cubs.

“I’ve done just count­less hours of back main­te­nance and rehab and ev­ery­thing just try­ing to stay healthy, and felt re­ally, re­ally good up to this point, so there’s def­i­nitely some frus­tra­tion,” Ker­shaw said.

Ker­shaw de­cided not to pitch for Team USA in this year’s World Base­ball Clas­sic, say­ing he owed it to the Dodgers to re­main healthy for an en­tire sea­son.

“There wasn’t any shoot­ing pain down the leg or the sen­sa­tions that he felt last year, so that’s en­cour­ag­ing,” Roberts said Sun­day, “but what he means to our ball club and his his­tory, there’s some pause.

“From what I un­der­stand, it’s more mus­cu­lar, so that sharp­ness he felt last year is not what he felt to­day. The scans could prove dif­fer­ent.”

The Dodgers also lost starter Bran­don McCarthy to the DL with a blis­ter.

Ker­shaw

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