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Kershaw hopeful to resume playing catch soon

Dodgers ace placed on DL Sunday with left biceps tendinitis
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw sounded optimistic about recovering from his injury after Sunday's MRI came back "pretty clean" and he rejected the theory that he's deteriorating with age.

Speaking on Tuesday for the first time since going on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday with left biceps tendinitis, Kershaw would not speak to any target dates for his return, but he said he was hopeful of resuming playing catch "in a few days," and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it could happen later this week.

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LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw sounded optimistic about recovering from his injury after Sunday's MRI came back "pretty clean" and he rejected the theory that he's deteriorating with age.

Speaking on Tuesday for the first time since going on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday with left biceps tendinitis, Kershaw would not speak to any target dates for his return, but he said he was hopeful of resuming playing catch "in a few days," and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it could happen later this week.

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"I don't know what day, that's [up to] the medical staff, but I can see that happen," Roberts said.

Kershaw said he only felt discomfort late in his last start that lasted six innings on May 1 in Arizona. He said he has theories on the cause of the injury and suggested it was mechanical. He said he would work on it with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Roberts said they had already been doing so for several weeks.

"Got some ideas, for sure," he said of the cause. "But ultimately, I try to do the best I can to prevent injury and stay healthy. Sometimes it's unavoidable. But I have some ideas going forward with Honey and different things to try to figure some things out."

Video: LAD@ARI: Kershaw K's 6, allows 2 runs across 6 frames

One natural conclusion is that Kershaw's injury and this year's decreased fastball velocity were related; either the injury caused the velocity drop, or to reverse the velocity drop, Kershaw has tried to throw harder and was hurt in the process.

"That's something I really can't speak to," Roberts said. "I don't know if it's a by-product of trying to create more [velocity]. I know he's in a very good state and feeling optimistic.

"I know all the characteristics of the slider, the changeup, spinning the baseball, all of that is really good. Yeah, look at the radar gun, it's a tick down. Some of it might be mechanics driven."

Kershaw said he didn't think an increase in throwing sliders and curves in comparison to fastballs was a factor. He said he's never had an arm problem until this one and that this MRI was the first one he's had on his shoulder.

"Hopefully, it shouldn't be too long," he said.

Kershaw is 30, but he's been pitching stressful Major League innings since he was 20. Between the regular seasons and postseasons, they total 2,101 innings. In a different era, when complete games were the norm, Sandy Koufax threw 2,381 1/3.

But Kershaw doesn't see this as a sign that he's on the decline.

"I don't think so," he said with a smile. "I've joked about being old, but I don't think it has anything to do with deterioration. I just think there's some things I can do to get better. Physically, I've felt great this whole year. Back, everything has felt really good. I'm not worrying about deteriorating. I think I'll be all right."

Injury updates
Yasiel Puig could return to the Dodgers' lineup by Wednesday, while Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe could be back for next week's road trip to Miami and Washington, Roberts said.

Puig began a one-game rehab assignment for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night to conclude his 10 days on the disabled list with hip and ankle contusions. Turner hit off a machine with high velocity on Tuesday and the club will bring in Minor League pitchers to throw him a simulated game on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. Turner is now able to make backhand glove plays without pain in the left wrist that was fractured in Spring Training.

Forsythe could go out on a Minor League rehab assignment this week as he returns from shoulder inflammation.

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw