Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Addresses His Own Health Status

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is no stranger to the injured list. The shortened 2020 season is the only one in the past seven that he didn’t spend time on the IL, averaging just under 25 starts per full season since 2015.

Just last year, Kershaw returned from the IL in September with the goal of getting a handful of starts in preparation for the postseason. Instead, his arm gave out in the final weekend of the regular season, causing him to miss the entire postseason.

This year, Kershaw finds himself in a familiar situation, returning from the IL in September with the goal of getting a handful of starts in preparation for the postseason. There’s plenty of reason for optimism that this year will go better than last, especially because the injury he just returned from was a very minor back issue rather than an arm concern. But still, Kershaw is understandably hesitant when talking about the upcoming playoff run, as Bill Plunkett writes in the Orange County Register.

But Kershaw is too cautious to make any guarantees about his readiness for the rigors of another postseason run — his first since 2020 (he missed last October with a flexor tendon/elbow injury).

“I mean, that’s such a loaded question,” he said. “I feel great right now. I feel great until I don’t. So right now I feel great. I don’t expect that to change.”

“I feel great until I don’t” is a sentiment familiar to any middle-aged baseball fan, and at 34 years old, Kershaw is middle-aged by pro baseball standards. After spending time on the IL in seven of the last nine years, it’s understandable that Kershaw is hesitant to look too far into the future.

For now, he’ll keep taking one step at a time, and his step on Wednesday was very positive: six innings pitched, eight strikeouts, no walks, and a two-run homer the only blemish on his day.

“Honestly, I probably had three bad pitches today and they were all hits,” Kershaw said. “One of them was a homer, which is frustrating. But overall, I felt great. I thought my fastball command was actually pretty good overall. So another good step forward.”

Any step forward is a good step. Let’s hope those good steps forward keep coming.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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