LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers got some encouraging news on the eve of resuming play after the All-Star break, with word that injured ace Clayton Kershaw could soon return to the starting rotation.
After Kershaw played catch Thursday at Dodger Stadium, manager Dave Roberts said the left-hander would throw a simulated game Saturday at home, along with fellow lefty Alex Wood.
Kershaw has been on the disabled list since June 27 with a minor disk herniation in his lower back.
He threw a 60-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday at the stadium after attending the All-Star Game in San Diego, where he was chosen for the NL team for the sixth straight year.
“That was encouraging for us,” Roberts said. “He says he’s feeling well. All of it is contingent upon how Clayton feels. Not a whole lot is left.”
Roberts said he wasn’t sure whether Kershaw would need a rehab assignment before rejoining the rotation.
“I don’t think he feels he needs one,” Roberts said.
Wood has been facing hitters in Arizona and will soon begin a rehab assignment as he comes back from a strained triceps.
The Dodgers (51-40) return from the break trailing first-place San Francisco by 6 1/2 games in the NL West. They open a nine-game trip Friday at Arizona, followed by three games at NL East-leading Washington and three at St. Louis.
Bud Norris, Brandon McCarthy and Kenta Maeda will start games in Arizona. Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the first two games in Washington.
Also nearing a return is center fielder Joc Pederson, who separated his right shoulder on June 28. He will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City and is expected to be activated Tuesday, Roberts said.
Brett Anderson is getting close to returning to the rotation, too, after recovering from surgery for a herniated disk in his lower back in March.
The left-hander threw a 60-pitch bullpen session that Roberts described as “electric.”
“He’s really come on as of late,” Roberts said.
Next up for Anderson is pitching a simulated game, followed by a rehab assignment.
Reliever Yimi Garcia, on the DL with strained biceps, has faced hitters and will begin a rehab assignment soon.
Outfielder Andre Ethier was to get a scan of his broken right leg on Thursday. If the results show further healing, he will take a more aggressive approach in his rehab.