Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Downplays Injury Concern

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Clayton Kershaw has been everything the Los Angeles Dodgers have needed and more this season, and he turned in another quality start on Tuesday to help them begin their six-game road trip with a 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Kershaw held the Rockies without a baserunner until Elias Díaz led off the fifth inning with a walk, and he had a no-hitter until Brenton Doyle’s single got by Max Muncy with two outs in the sixth. A double play and pickoff helped Kershaw face the minimum over six scoreless innings.

But the brilliant outing ended at just 79 pitches as Kershaw signaled to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts he needed to come out of the game while walking into the dugout after the sixth inning. Brusdar Graterol entered in the top of the seventh.

Following the Dodgers’ win, Kershaw only spoke generally about his health and expressed confidence about not missing any time via, SportsNet LA:

“I just didn’t feel great overall. That last inning kind of got to me. Obviously not a lot of pitches, definitely should’ve gone deeper in the game. I feel bad about making the bullpen cover three (innings). I just needed to come out right there. I think I’m alright. I think I’ll be good for the next start. I was just trying to do the right thing, and I think I did.”

When pressed further on the early exit and asked if it was related to a potential back injury, Kershaw again deflected amid a preference to see how he feels Wednesday:

“We’ll see tomorrow. I’ll kind of give an update tomorrow on how I’m doing. For right now, I don’t think it’s too serious. I don’t think I’ll miss a start. I should be alright.”

Kershaw has a long history of back injuries, and he twice was put on the injured list last season because of the seemingly recurring trouble. The 35-year-old previously has acknowledged back trouble is something that needs to be managed, but an issue he felt confident of having a grasp on.

To this point, Kershaw is the only member of the Dodgers starting rotation who has not been put on the IL this season.

“He’s been a stalwart and the glue for this team this year,” Roberts said when asked if Kershaw’s value is higher compared to other starting pitchers.

“I believe that you win with starting pitching, and him making his starts, going deep in games, giving us a chance to win every time he takes the mound, the exponential affect he has on the group, the way he goes about it, all that stuff is of huge value.”

History of Clayton Kershaw back injuries

Kershaw back injuries of varying degrees and specifics have forced him to the IL during the 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022 seasons.

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