Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been on the disabled list since July 1 with disc herniation in his back. Recently, Kershaw's back didn't respond well after a simulated game, which was the first sign that this could be something serious. Now, via's Alex Putterman, comes this from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts:

"With the way it flared up, it's more of an indication that surgery is more of a possibility," Roberts said.


Roberts said the team is "hopeful" Kershaw would be back this season.

Given how hush-hush teams tend to be about such matters, the manager's mentioning the word "surgery" is indeed a troubling development. As is the tacit admission that Kershaw might not pitch again this season.

Suffice it to say, the loss of Kershaw for the remainder of 2016 would be a crippling loss for the Dodgers. For the year, Kershaw has pitched to a major-leading 1.79 ERA (and a major-leading ERA+ of 218) in 121 innings. As well, his K/BB ratio of 16.11 would be an all-time record provided he reaches a qualifying number of innings. Kershaw was, rather easily, the most valuable contributor in all of baseball this season at the time of his injury.

Given the many other rotation health issues the Dodgers are facing right now, this is the last bit of news they needed.