Josh Hamilton moved gingerly as he got to second base on last night’s extra-inning double and afterward the reigning MVP admitted that he’s been playing through a groin injury “for a while.”
“My groin is sore,” Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. “A lot of guys are hurting right now. That’s part of it this time of year. I’m fine. It just hurts a little more when I have to run hard.”
Hamilton has yet to make a big impact in the postseason, but made it clear that he has no plans to miss any time and has hit reasonably well so far, going 9-for-33 (.273) with four doubles in eight games.
And he’s started each of the four ALCS games in center field, so manager Ron Washington is obviously convinced the groin injury and pain that comes with running hard aren’t enough to make him a poor option there defensively.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.