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Kershaw improving, set for sim game Monday

Reliever Dayton to seek second opinion on sore elbow
Special to MLB.com

DETROIT -- Clayton Kershaw is one step closer to returning to the Dodgers, as he will throw another simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday.

Kershaw, who has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain, threw off flat ground on Sunday with positive results following a 35-pitch simulated game on Wednesday. Manager Dave Roberts said that the next step is to have Kershaw throw three innings against live hitters in early batting practice.

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DETROIT -- Clayton Kershaw is one step closer to returning to the Dodgers, as he will throw another simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday.

Kershaw, who has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain, threw off flat ground on Sunday with positive results following a 35-pitch simulated game on Wednesday. Manager Dave Roberts said that the next step is to have Kershaw throw three innings against live hitters in early batting practice.

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"Once he passes that [sim game] marker right there, then we'll see where he goes," Roberts said. "But it's probably going to be a [rehab] start either in [Double-A] Tulsa or [Triple-A] OKC."

The Dodgers lost Kershaw after the second inning on July 23 when he left a game against the Braves with tightness in his back. Prior to landing on the disabled list, he had a 2.04 ERA and 205 ERA+ in 141 1/3 innings, both of which still lead Major League Baseball. He had walked only 1.5 batters per nine innings (third lowest in MLB) and was striking out 10.7 hitters per nine (fifth best in MLB). Despite missing nearly a month on the DL, he still ranks fourth in MLB with a 2.93 FIP.

Dodgers getting second opinion on Dayton's elbow

Long reliever Grant Dayton was sent back to Los Angeles on Saturday to get a second opinion on the left elbow soreness that he experienced during warmups on Friday before a scheduled rehab appearance for Tulsa. Test results on his elbow came back "unclear," however, and the Dodgers are now seeking the second opinion.

Roberts said that the team has shut Dayton down until further notice while it awaits further testing for a more definitive answer.

This is Dayton's second time on the DL for a stiff neck this year, but the elbow issue is new. After being recalled on June 1 from Oklahoma City, he went on the DL for the neck on July 6, but was activated on July 20. The team then lost him again for the same issue on July 28. Currently, however, the only issue is Dayton's elbow soreness, as Roberts clarified that the neck stiffness has cleared up.

Catherine Slonksnis is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Dodgers on Sunday.

Los Angeles Dodgers