Clayton Kershaw shut down until back pain goes away

Big League Stew
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw won’t pitch from a mound again until his back pain completely goes away. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters Tuesday that Kershaw felt discomfort following a simulated game on Saturday and his return date is now “uncertain.” He’s scheduled to undergo another examination later this week.

The Dodgers left-hander’s last start was June 26 and he was placed on the disabled list on July 1 with a herniated disc. Before the injury Kershaw was proving his place as the best pitcher in baseball, with an 11-2 record in 16 starts, a 1.79 ERA and an out-of-this-world 145-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

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Being without a pitcher of Kershaw’s caliber is a blow for any team and the Dodgers can ill afford any more setbacks for their ace, or any other pitcher on the roster for that matter. Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu joined Kershaw on the DL on Tuesday due to elbow irritation and top prospect Julio Urias is getting the call from Triple-A to start Thursday.

Los Angeles trails San Francisco by 5 1/2 games in the NL West and their odds of closing that gap are much more slim with Kershaw sidelined. Going from expecting to have him back in a few days to not knowing when he’ll be back at all only makes it worse.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter.

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