Dodgers activate Zack Greinke from the 15-day disabled list and place Josh Beckett on it

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have officially activated right-hander Zack Greinke from the 15-day disabled list. He will make his third start of the 2013 regular season on Wednesday night against the visiting Nationals.

To clear a roster spot, right-hander Josh Beckett was placed on the disabled list with a strained right groin muscle. He suffered the injury while covering first base on a groundout Monday evening and will likely need over three weeks of recovery time.

Greinke has been out since fracturing his left collarbone during an April 11 brawl with Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin. The 29-year-old made only one rehab start and did not look very sharp, but the 16-22 Dodgers didn’t want to wait another week.

Greinke signed a six-year, $147 million free agent contract with Los Angeles this winter.

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.