Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was forced to leave Thursday’s game against the Giants with a back injury.
After throwing a warmup pitch before the bottom of the fifth inning, Kershaw looked into the dugout and pointed as he stood off the mound. As he was met by a trainer, he appeared to say “my back.” The team later confirmed that the injury was to his back.
Kershaw is in the midst of yet another standout campaign. The National League’s All-Star starting pitcher has a 2.25 ERA through 15 starts with 88 strikeouts and 15 walks in 85 1/3 innings of work. Before exiting Thursday, he had allowed two runs (one earned) on a two-run home run by San Francisco’s J.D. Davis. Kershaw had struck out four and walked one in four innings.
Here’s the latest on Kershaw’s injury.
The Dodgers announced not long after Kershaw was removed from the game that he was dealing with back pain.
After the game, Kershaw said he was having “more back stuff,” according to the Orange County Register. Manager Dave Roberts said he will undergo testing on Friday.
“Just felt something kind of lock up there in the fifth. Couldn’t really throw after that. Something in my back again,” Kershaw said. “We’ll see how I wake up in the morning. That’s probably the first thing. Then go from there.”
Back problems have been persistent for the future Hall of Fame hurler. He was sidelined with back injuries in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020. He also missed a month earlier this season (May 8 to June 11) with right SI joint inflammation in his lower back.
This season, six Dodgers pitchers have made at least 10 starts: Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, Tyler Anderson, Julio Urias, Walker Buehler and Mitch White. Buehler was sidelined with an elbow injury in late June and placed on the 60-day injured list. White was traded to the Blue Jays at the deadline on Aug. 2.
Andrew Heaney has filled in for Buehler in the rotation. Ryan Pepiot, who has made four starts this year and has a 2.76 ERA, would seem to be the most likely replacement should Kershaw need to miss any starts.