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    Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw returns to mound in bullpen session
    • July 5, 2024

    LOS ANGELES – After a brief pause, Clayton Kershaw’s comeback is back on track.

    Kershaw threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Thursday afternoon. It was his first time throwing off a mound since he experienced soreness in his shoulder following a three-inning rehab outing for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on June 19.

    Kershaw was shut down for a week and received a pain-killing injection to treat the soreness in his surgically repaired shoulder.

    “Today was a good day. Health-wise, everything felt kind of like I hoped it would,” Kershaw said. “Next step is to get back out there and face some hitters at some point. I don’t really know how many pitches I’m going to throw the first time back out. But I don’t have to start from scratch, thankfully, which will be good.

    “Hopefully I’ll have a smooth rest of the rehab.”

    The first seven months of Kershaw’s recovery from November’s surgery did go smoothly and he was back on a mound in a game for Rancho Cucamonga with anticipation of a potential return to the Dodgers in July or August. Kershaw said he is optimistic the brief shutdown won’t affect that timetable much.

    “Obviously when you’re in the moment it’s frustrating to have to stop your rehab and kind of take a step back,” Kershaw said. “Hopefully in the long run, it’ll be a good thing. Time will tell, I guess.”

    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said seeing Kershaw back on the mound in his bullpen session made Thursday an “exciting day” and Kershaw could throw to hitters in a simulated-game setting as soon as Sunday with a return to a minor league rehab assignment to follow.

    “I think it will be two or three outings,” Roberts said. “I just feel, even talking to Clayton, there wasn’t a whole long lay off. So the build-up, build-back shouldn’t be that bad. But two or three, I think is realistic.”

    Kershaw acknowledged there were “no assurances, I guess” that he won’t experience soreness again as he tries to ramp up his effort level in rehab outings.

    “I’m holding out hope (there won’t be any more setbacks),” Roberts said. “But I do think that Dr. ElAttrache did say there’s gonna be some things that he’s going to go through, some soreness. He got the shot, took the week off and from that point on, he’s had no soreness. The strength has been there. His body is moving well. So I think that for us, yeah, there can always be something that pops up. But right now, where we’re at today, really encouraged.”


    The Dodgers’ starting plans for Sunday’s final home game of the first half are undecided. It would be Bobby Miller’s spot in the rotation – on regular four days’ rest. But the Dodgers are continuing to give their starters extra days off between starts and Miller won’t start against the Brewers, Roberts said.

    The Dodgers could go to a full bullpen game, call up a spot starter or use Ryan Yarbrough depending on how bullpen usage goes in the days before Sunday.

    After using relievers to cover 10 innings in the first two games against the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers recalled left-hander Nick Ramirez from Triple-A and sent right-hander Michael Petersen back to Oklahoma City.


    Injured third baseman Max Muncy increased his activity last week, traveling to San Francisco with the team and starting to test his injured oblique muscle by hitting off a tee and from coaches soft tossing.

    But Muncy’s progress has been “slow, to be honest,” Roberts said.

    “There’s still some soreness in the oblique,” Roberts said. “He has been swinging a little bit recently. I still think it’s a slow, slow process. So outside of giving a hard timeline, which I don’t think anyone knows, it’s going to be certainly well after the All-Star break, in my opinion.”

    Muncy was moved to the 60-day injured list and will not be eligible to return until after the All-Star break.


    Roberts said right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto has been working with plyo balls and could start a throwing program by playing catch towards the end of next week. Yamamoto has been sidelined since June 15 with a strained rotator cuff.


    Brewers (RHP Aaron Civale, 2-6, 5.07 ERA) at Dodgers (RHP Tyler Glasnow, 8-5, 3.23 ERA), Friday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA, MLB Network, 570 AM

    ​ Orange County Register