Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list just hours before the Los Angeles Dodgers got their 2020 season underway, but manager Dave Roberts does not seem all that concerned.
After the Dodgers announced on Thursday that Kershaw was placed on the 10-day injured list with back stiffness, Roberts told reporters the ailment is “minimal.” He indicated he does not expect Kershaw to be out long.
In his in-game ESPN interview, Dave Roberts described the severity of Clayton Kershaw's back injury as "minimal."
Said he was encouraged by Kershaw's positive demeanor today: “Hopefully everyday he gets better and will be back with us soon.”
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) July 24, 2020
Even if the injury is minor, it is still a concern given Kershaw’s recent history. The left-hander has spent time on the injured list in each of the past four seasons, including with back issues each season from 2016-18. Last season, Kershaw missed the start of the year with shoulder trouble.
After averaging well over 200 innings pitched each year from 2011-15, Kershaw has not topped the 200-inning mark in a season since. He did have a strong year in 2019, however, going 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA. With a shortened season and a new playoff format, the Dodgers will likely play it safe with their ace to assure he is fully healthy for the long haul.