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Thursday the target for Kershaw's return

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers plan to activate Clayton Kershaw from the disabled list to start Thursday against the Phillies, manager Dave Roberts said on Sunday.

Kershaw hasn't pitched since May 1 because of left biceps tendinitis. He threw a four-inning simulated game on Saturday and came out of it feeling well enough to play catch on Sunday morning.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers plan to activate Clayton Kershaw from the disabled list to start Thursday against the Phillies, manager Dave Roberts said on Sunday.

Kershaw hasn't pitched since May 1 because of left biceps tendinitis. He threw a four-inning simulated game on Saturday and came out of it feeling well enough to play catch on Sunday morning.

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"I think he's fine to go deep [into a game], depending on how he's throwing," Roberts said. "It's great and I'm happy for Clayton [that he's] feeling healthy. Performing is one thing, but if he feels healthy and strong, we'll bet on the performance. We're playing better baseball -- and to add him to the mix, it's a real good thing for all of us.

"It's a big lift. You've got your ace coming back and we've kind of righted the ship a little bit, trending in the right direction. You can compare it to having [Justin Turner] back on the position-player front."

The Dodgers opened the season 16-24 without Turner, who suffered a fractured left wrist in Spring Training. They are 7-4 since his return. Since Kershaw went on the disabled list on May 6, the Dodgers are 8-10.

Kershaw figures to bump Brock Stewart from the starting rotation. Roberts was non-committal on whether Stewart would be shifted into a bullpen role in the Major Leagues or return to the Minor Leagues and continue starting so he'll be stretched out when the Dodgers need a starter again. Stewart will start for the Dodgers on Monday.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw