Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After getting through four innings of a simulated game last week, Clayton Kershaw threw another bullpen session before the Los Angeles Dodgers’ matchup against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
The left-hander has been on the 15-day injured list since July 3 because of left shoulder soreness. He last pitched in a game on June 27 but remained on track rejoin the rotation as soon as this week.
There was some thought that would occur against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Dodgers named Julio Urías and Bobby Miller their probables for the series at Chase Field.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that amounts to Kershaw making his return to the rotation for a start against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
Clayton Kershaw will make his return from the injured list on Thursday night at home against the Colorado Rockies.
“For the team, I know that we all get excited when he takes the baseball. You just feel more comfortable and confident when Kersh is active,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Kershaw conceivably could have started one of the games against the Diamondbacks to push Urías or Miller back for extra rest. However, the 35-year-old doesn’t have the best track record when pitching at the Diamondbacks’ home ballpark.
Kershaw is a career 8-11 with a 3.91 ERA in 22 starts at Chase Field. Kershaw has a losing record in his career at just two ballparks — Chase Field and Busch Stadium.
He was in the midst of another stellar season before going on the IL, compiling a 10-4 record with a 2.55 ERA, 3.52 FIP, 1.05 WHIP and 9.9 strikeouts per nine across 95.1 innings (16 starts).
Dodgers deferred to Clayton Kershaw during recovery
When Kershaw first landed on the IL, the expectation was he would return immediately after the All-Star break. However, that was pushed into early August after Dr. Neal ElAttrache reviewed an MRI and suggested Kershaw give his ailing shoulder more rest.
After throwing his first simulated game since the injury earlier this month, Kershaw was allowed to dictate what the next step would be. “I think a lot of it is kind of Clayton just being honest with how he feels,” Roberts said before it was decided Kershaw would throw a second simulated game.
“I think given his track record, the respect we have for him, and just trust that. I don’t know the answer yet, but I do believe, like I’ve said all along, he’s going to drive this.”
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