Report: Clayton Kershaw eyes early May return

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Clayton Kershaw could be re-joining the Dodgers' rotation in the first week of May.
Clayton Kershaw could be re-joining the Dodgers' rotation in the first week of May. (USATSI)

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been on the shelf with a back injury since the beginning of the state-side MLB season, but his return appears to be getting close. He could return during the Dodgers' next road trip, which is April 29-May 7, according to an report.

Kershaw threw a three-inning simulated game Sunday and had no issues, telling reporters that he felt "good." If Kershaw doesn't experience soreness Monday morning, the next step in his rehab is might be a minor-league rehab assignment, though the club hasn't officially said anything as to a return timetable or schedule.

In the simulated game, Kershaw threw 50 pitches and pitchers can generally increase the workload by 15 pitches each time out, so just two rehab appearances could get him back to full-go.

Kershaw, 26, won his only start of the season thus far, working 6 2/3 innings and striking out seven while allowing only one run in Australia against Arizona. He's led the majors in ERA the past three seasons while winning two Cy Youngs and finishing as the runner-up in between.

When Kershaw does return, he'll take the rotation spot of Paul Maholm.

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