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Feeling 'really good,' Kershaw plays catch

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES --- Good news came to the Dodgers clubhouse when team doctors gave three-time Cy Young Award winner and former National League MVP Clayton Kershaw the go-ahead to play catch, ahead of what the club anticipated.

Kershaw, who was put on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain, played catch in the outfield about five hours before the Dodgers' series opener against the Giants on Friday. Manager Dave Roberts said the southpaw came in the clubhouse Thursday and "felt really good."

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LOS ANGELES --- Good news came to the Dodgers clubhouse when team doctors gave three-time Cy Young Award winner and former National League MVP Clayton Kershaw the go-ahead to play catch, ahead of what the club anticipated.

Kershaw, who was put on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain, played catch in the outfield about five hours before the Dodgers' series opener against the Giants on Friday. Manager Dave Roberts said the southpaw came in the clubhouse Thursday and "felt really good."

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The lefty started receiving treatment and has been taking medicine since Monday. Roberts said the club will continue to monitor Kershaw's progress and if he continues to respond well to the medication, they will move forward, but a rehab assignment "is still down the road" for Kershaw.

"The medication obviously he responded to," Roberts said. "For him to get the go-ahead to start playing catch again, I think it's ahead of where we all anticipated, so I'm going to be cautiously optimistic."

The Dodgers won't try to rush Kershaw back, a lesson they learned last season when Kershaw suffered a setback after he tossed a bullpen session two weeks after he went on the DL.

"He is an elite baseball player," Roberts said. "And players intrinsically have that in them where they feel they can kind of overcome adversity and they're in a better spot physically or mentally than they might be. With Clayton's eagerness to get back, we take it with a mild grain of salt."

Gonzalez nearing rehab assignment

Adrian Gonzalez will hit in a simulated game Sunday and is still on track to go on a rehab assignment sometime next week, Roberts said. Gonzalez, who has been on the disabled list since June 12 dealing with a lower back injury, took early batting practice Friday.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw