The Los Angeles Dodgers are gearing up for a deep postseason run this MLB season, and they will soon get an important piece back in the rotation via Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw, who has been out since leaving his start on July 23 with back pain, tossed a four-inning simulated game on Monday.
Dodgers team-mates Chase Utley and Kike Hernandez took some swings against seven-time All-Star Kershaw.
"He's getting close," manager Dave Roberts said, via MLB.com. "There's zero chance [of Kershaw starting for the Dodgers on Saturday instead].
"There's a level of intensity that continues to heighten, from bullpen to simulated game to Triple-A where you're competing. You continue to ramp up as far as intensity, and crossing that marker makes everyone feel better."
Kershaw – a three-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner and Triple Crown recipient – was an incredible 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA this season before his injury.
The Dodgers then added Yu Darvish before the July 31 trade deadline, but he too is sidelined with an injury.
While 2014 NL MVP and Gold Glove winner Kershaw understands the team's reason for being cautious with his return, the 29-year-old said he was ready to return over a week ago.
"Health-wise, I could have pitched in the big leagues 10 days ago. But that's not the plan, obviously," Kershaw said. "I don't feel I missed much time. I kept throwing all the way through. I guess it's the luxury we have as a team.
"You can't simulate a Major League game. You've just got to do it. Sim games are really hard. You try to create intensity, but you can't and it's really not a good recipe, but I guess it's what you have to do."
Roberts said Kershaw will make a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday. If all things go well, he will then return to the rotation.
26 de septiembre 2017
|Roethlisberger regrets Steelers´ decision to miss national anthem|
25 de septiembre 2017
|Pulis rounds on ´cheating´ Sanchez amid Rodriguez penalty row|
|Ramsey: Arsenal must make Emirates a fortress|
|Arsenal 2 West Brom 0: Lacazette double enough for Gunners as Barry breaks Premier League record|
|Yankees´ Aaron Judge breaks Mark McGwire’s rookie HR record|
|Dunbar a doubt for Scotland internationals after surgery|
|Benjamin MRI reveals no structural damage to knee|
|No Real Madrid doubts over Cristiano Ronaldo, insists Carvajal|
|England Ashes hopeful Westley escapes with bruised thumb|
|Nineteen years and counting – Barry´s record-breaking Premier League career in Opta numbers|
|Barry to break Giggs´ Premier League appearance record|
|US Open finalists Stephens and Keys suffer first-round Wuhan defeats|
|Zidane has faith in Real Madrid style|
|Suso pens AC Milan extension until 2022|
|Cavaliers hopeful of January return for Thomas|
|Real Madrid injuries will make no difference, says Bosz|
|A waste of time - Klopp baffled by media questions ahead of Champions League tie|
|Knicks make Anthony trade to Thunder official|
|Football Association backs Glenn over Sampson sacking|
|Juventus to appeal against fine, Agnelli ban issued by FIGC|
|Aguero and Jesus partnership delights Guardiola|
|Athletics´ Maxwell will continue kneeling despite threats & racial slurs|
|Deulofeu, Semedo return for Barcelona but Alcacer dropped for Sporting CP clash|
|Tom Brady disagrees with Donald Trump´s anthem comments|
|Guardiola uneasy over lofty Manchester City comparisons|
|Josh Norman: Donald Trump is not my president|
|FIFA ´applying common sense´ with expected poppy ban U-turn|
|Walker: It was a nightmare facing Aguero|
|Victorious Darcis sets up Zverev clash in Shenzhen|
|Promes a doubt for Spartak´s Liverpool clash|
|Dortmund meet Madrid again as Besiktas look to end drought - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Castleford Tigers get six in Super League Dream Team|
|Villarreal promote coach Calleja to first-team duties|
|Ashes hopeful Westley faces anxious wait over hand injury|
|Donald Trump ´so proud of NASCAR´ for stance on protests during anthem|
|Zvonareva ousts fourth seed Begu in Tashkent opener|
|Napoli striker Milik set for long lay-off after knee surgery|
|Mourinho avoids FA punishment after being sent off at Southampton|
|Draxler predicts a ´spectacle´ when PSG face Bayern|
|Tevez challenged to prove his worth by Shanghai Shenhua|
|Mercedes avoiding complacency after Singapore ´surprise´|
|Bielsa has backing of Lille owner despite poor run|
|Shakhtar will attack Man City, predicts Fernandinho|
|Burki hopes Dortmund crowd can be key against Madrid|
|Zverev: Everyone would want Federer as a coach|
|Kroos returns for Madrid´s trip to Dortmund|
|Chelsea boss Conte: For sure, I will return to Italy|
|Neymar and Mbappe need time to settle at PSG, says Ancelotti|
|Aston Martin named Red Bull´s title sponsor from 2018|
|Walker´s World Cup hopes ended by ankle surgery|
|Villarreal sack Escriba after Getafe humbling|
|Mathieu hits out at Barcelona treatment|
|Lukaku and Raiola repeat calls for offensive chant to stop|
|Billy Vunipola would take pay cut to avoid burn out|
|Agar out of India tour with broken finger|
|De Bruyne keen on new Manchester City deal|
|Marcelino laughs off injury after hurting hamstring celebrating|
|Diamondbacks clinch home-field advantage in wildcard game with walk-off win|
|Brady, Rodgers inspire comebacks for Pats and Packers|
|Milan shouldn´t be losing to weaker teams – Fassone slams Montella´s men|
|MLS Review: Sporting KC, Portland keep pressure on|
|Bautista receives emotional farewell from Blue Jays fans|
|It´s been a wild ride - Schauffele revels in Tour Championship victory|
|Mixed feelings for FedEx Cup champ Thomas, despite collecting $10m bonus|
|Wenger unwilling to sacrifice any potential trophy|
|Kershaw breaks Dodgers record for most seasons with 200 strikeouts|
|NFL players react to Trump´s ´assault´ on freedom of speech|
|Kane worth more than £100m – Noble|
|Klopp: I could write a book on defending|
|Maddon all for self-expression as Cubs manager clarifies Trump comments|