Clayton Kershaw to pitch a simulated game tomorrow

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, out with a bad back since June 27, will face live hitters on Saturday.

The simulated game will take place at Dodger Stadium. Manager Dave Roberts said it’s unlikely Kershaw will need a rehab assignment, so if the simulated game goes well, he could be back in the Dodgers’ rotation as early as next week.

The Dodgers are six and a half games back of the Giants in the NL West as they start out the second half on a lengthy road trip. They do, however, have one of the easier second half schedules in baseball, so between that and the hopeful return of their big gun in the rotation, they have reason to believe that they’re not out of the hunt yet.