Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: The Latest on Clayton Kershaw’s Back Injury

The Dodgers starting rotation was dealt a blow on Thursday afternoon in San Francisco as Clayton Kershaw exited his start early complaining of back pain. LA won the game but the cost seemed to be pretty large at the moment.

As expected, the team placed Kershaw on the 15-day injured list with low back pain. Before Friday night’s game back at Chavez Ravine, manager Dave Roberts shared the latest update he had on number 22.

As of 4:30 PM PT, Kershaw’s MRI results still hadn’t come in but Doc still knew that the chances of the left-hander returning in August were slim. This is the second time Clayton has gone on the IL with a lower back issue. In May, he suffered from right SI joint inflammation that sidelined him for the better part of a month. Now he’s dealing with an issue more on the left side of his lower back/hip area.

When healthy, the 34-year-old has been great on the mound. Over 85.1 innings, Kersh has posted a 2.64 ERA with 88 strikeouts against just 15 walks. The last time the Dodgers were without Kershaw, the club turned to right-hander Mitch White to eat up innings. But with White now traded to the Blue Jays at the deadline, Roberts said that rookie Ryan Pepiot is the leading candidate to take a turn in the rotation.

With two off days coming up on the schedule, Kershaw’s next turn in the rotation could be skipped. But given where the team is at in the year, the extra days off for starting pitchers could go a long way heading toward the postseason.

Kershaw’s Challenge

One area of certain frustration for the veteran Kershaw is that his famous “Ping Pong 4 Purpose” charity event is set to make its triumphant return after two years off this Monday. Sadly, the injury should preclude Clayton from participating in the event. But he’ll still host and make his rounds on the sidelines.

The 8th annual event will benefit Shoes that Fit, The LA Dream Center, Arise Africa, Both Ends Believing, and International Justice Mission. Kershaw’s Challenge has raised over $16 million for vulnerable and at-risk children since 2011.


Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor and manager of, and a host and analyst on DN's Blue Heaven podcast live stream. Since joining Dodgers Nation, Clint has helped grow the site into a top-50 baseball website in the world. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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