Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/20/12

Clayton Kershaw was back with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, one day after meeting with a hip specialist in New York about his ailing right hip. But the left-hander isn't particularly close to being able to pitch -- the Dodgers are taking a cautious approach with their ace.

Kershaw played catch off flat ground on Wednesday with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, but the left-hander won't be cleared to pitch until he is pain free in his right hip.

"I just think he needs to be able to start doing everything he usually does without any pain at all," manager Don Mattingly said. "I don't know if that's going to happen at all."

Mattingly said Kershaw would need to throw a bullpen session before pitching in a game, and as of Wednesday Kershaw had no bullpen sessions scheduled. Kershaw's health coupled with Tuesday's rainout has wreaked havoc with the Dodgers' rotation.

Rookie Stephen Fife already started in place of Kershaw on Sunday, and though the weekend rotation hasn't yet been announced Fife is on target to pitch Saturday in Cincinnati.

But with Tuesday starter Aaron Harang pushed to Wednesday's doubleheader in Washington, the Dodgers will have to scramble for a starter on Sunday. Either they give the ball to Harang or Josh Beckett on three days' rest or they give the start to John Ely, who won the Pacific Coast League pitching triple crown this year in his time with Triple-A Albuquerque.

Ely has a 20.25 ERA in two games in relief since getting promoted, but he might be the Dodgers' only decent choice. The only other option would be to use mostly relievers in a bullpen game.

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