Clayton Kershaw was scratched from yesterday’s scheduled start with a hip injury and will be examined by a specialist tomorrow to determine if he needs surgery, leading Dodgers fans to worry that the reigning Cy Young winner might be lost for the remainder of the season.
At this point, however, that might be the least of their concerns, as Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Kershaw could miss the beginning of next season as well if he ends up going under the knife to repair a torn hip labrum.
In fact, Hernandez spoke to “people familiar with his condition” who say Kershaw likely wouldn’t be back in the Dodgers’ rotation until at least mid-May if he has the operation.
These next 36 hours or so figure to test Dodgers fans’ breath-holding ability.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.