Phillies confident Roy Halladay’s second opinion will confirm initial diagnosis

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There was some minor intrigue last week when Roy Halladay saw Dr. David Altchek in New York last week for a second opinion on his strained right lat muscle, but the Phillies aren’t alarmed.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer was told by Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. that Halladay’s second opinion is expected to confirm the initial diagnosis. The early estimate is that Halladay will miss six-to-eight weeks, but we’ll know a lot more about his progress after he tries throwing two weeks from now.

For what it’s worth, Amaro said Halladay was “symptom-free” while doing shoulder exercises this morning.

“He’s actually doing pretty well,” Amaro said. “He’s started doing some shoulder exercises, doing some upper body stuff now.”

Halladay had a 3.98 ERA and 56/14 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings through 11 starts prior to being placed on the disabled list early last week. The 35-year-old right-hander has logged more innings (1,487) than anyone since the start of the 2006 season. CC Sabathia is second with 1,470 innings, though he’s on pace to pass Halladay in the next month.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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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.