Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw on road to recovery after latest back injury – Daily News

PHOENIX — Since he was sidelined by a back injury for the first time during the 2016 season, Clayton Kershaw has unfortunately become well-versed on the subject.

“I’m pretty familiar with back pain and how to deal with it,” Kershaw said Thursday, currently on the injured list with sacroiliac joint inflammation in his lower back. “This one has just been a little bit different than I’m used to. Sometimes I can bounce right back and other times I can’t. This one just has taken a little longer than I had hoped.

“Being hurt is just not what I signed up for. I don’t like doing it. It’s not fun. But hopefully, I’ll get this one out of the way and I’ll be good to go for the rest of the year.”

Kershaw has not pitched since the Dodgers’ series at Wrigley Field in early May. The three-time Cy Young Award winner came down with the latest iteration of his back problems after the flight back from Pittsburgh at the end of that road trip.

“I think initially I didn’t want to admit I was hurt,” Kershaw said Thursday. But an epidural injection wasn’t enough to address the injury.

“The epidural usually works pretty good for me. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of experience with those,” he said. “Usually it’s a pretty quick fix. This time, it didn’t take like I had hoped it would. Sometimes the only thing to do is rest – which is hard. Hopefully, I gave it enough of that and now I can kind of start progressing and get better from here.”

Kershaw joined the Dodgers in Arizona after resting at home over the past week. He said he started throwing a few days ago and was stretched out to 90 feet during his session before Thursday’s game at Chase Field. He is hopeful that he could advance to throwing off a mound next week, though he would not offer an estimate for how much longer he might be sidelined.

“I think last year I definitely did rush back the first time. At the same time, I had to give it a go to be ready for September,” Kershaw said, referring to the elbow injury that sidelined him for two months at midseason and then again for the postseason. “That was a little bit different. I needed three or four months for that one. This one, I don’t know how much time I’m going to need. But I’m fairly confident I’m not going to need a whole lot longer.

“Unfortunately, the reality of it is with my back – I’ve thrown a lot of pitches and my back is going to be something that is a problem for me moving forward almost always. So it’s just a matter of dealing with it when you can. If it’s a once-a-year deal then so be it. But hopefully, it’s around this time of year and I’m ready to go for the rest of the season.”

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