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No timeline determined for Kershaw's return

Lefty says lower-back pain not as bad as injury in 2016
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES --- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said the lower back strain that landed him on the 10-day disabled list, is not as "painful" as the herniated disk injury he sustained last season that caused him to miss two months.

"Last year I couldn't sit," Kershaw said on Wednesday. "Couldn't really bend in any way. This one isn't near [as bad] in any way. Just trying to play that balance of wanting to do a lot, but having to make sure not to do it worse before it heals, so that's where we're at."

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LOS ANGELES --- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said the lower back strain that landed him on the 10-day disabled list, is not as "painful" as the herniated disk injury he sustained last season that caused him to miss two months.

"Last year I couldn't sit," Kershaw said on Wednesday. "Couldn't really bend in any way. This one isn't near [as bad] in any way. Just trying to play that balance of wanting to do a lot, but having to make sure not to do it worse before it heals, so that's where we're at."

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The three-time Cy Young Award winner said his back hadn't bothered him at all this season until the injury occurred while he was throwing warmup pitches before the second inning of the Dodgers' 5-4 win over the Braves on Sunday. Kershaw met with team doctor Robert Watkins on Monday and has been getting treatment, and a timetable for the southpaw's return hasn't been disclosed.

"There's so many things [that] can happen," Kershaw said. "You can come back early and people say you rushed it, you come back late and people say it's worst than you originally thought, so there's no good timetable."

Video: Roberts discusses Kershaw heading to disabled list

Entering Wednesday, the Dodgers held a 12 1/2-game led in the National League West and have the best record in baseball. And the Dodgers have won Kershaw's last 15 starts.

But the Dodgers have navigated through a season without their ace in the rotation going 38-24 in his absence and winning the NL West crown last season. With that, Kershaw said he would still like to come back in the regular season to be ready for October.

"We actually can't take that for granted," Kershaw said about the Dodgers' record. "But it gives me something to shoot for, I guess. I might not pitch as many starts as I like in the regular season. I definitely would like at least a few before October. I don't see that as being a problem."

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw