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Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw sees surgeon but details are sparse

Dodgers release vague statement saying the pitcher has an impingement in his hip and is seeking other specialists' opinions. Don Mattingly wouldn't speculate about Kershaw pitching again this season.

September 18, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez
  • There's a chance Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw could be back on the mound before the end of the season.
There's a chance Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw could be back on… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Clayton Kershaw visited an orthopedic surgeon in New York on Tuesday, but he and the Dodgers didn't offer many details about what he was told about his ailing right hip.

After the Dodgers' series-opening game against the Washington Nationals was declared a rainout, the team released a vague and carefully worded 127-word statement that said Kershaw has an impingement in his hip and is soliciting the opinions of other specialists

Kershaw hasn't been shut down for the season, but he also hasn't been penciled back into the rotation or scheduled for a bullpen session. The Dodgers' statement made no mention of the possibility of surgery to repair the labrum in his right hip, which could cause him to miss the first month of next season.

While saying there was a chance Kershaw could pitch again this season, Manager Don Mattingly wouldn't speculate as to how likely that is to happen.

Dr. Bryan Kelly thinks Kershaw could pitch without further damaging his hip, according to the Dodgers' statement. But the team said it would not allow him to take the mound if he still felt pain.

Kershaw emerged from the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park with a ball in one hand and a glove on the other after the game had been called off.

Seeing a group of reporters in the dugout, he said, "Oh, you clowns are out here?" and quickly returned to the clubhouse.

He had no other comment.

He also wouldn't let trainer Sue Falsone explain his condition. Trainers can't speak to reporters about players without their consent.

Mattingly said Kelly's diagnosis of Kershaw's hip "didn't sound too bad," but acknowledged that was only because Kelly didn't tell the Dodgers anything they didn't already know.

Kershaw, who missed his scheduled start Sunday, has continued to play catch.

"I know he's tried to keep throwing by not using his hips," Mattingly said. "He'll try to keep his arm moving as much as he possibly can."

Rookie Stephen Fife will fill Kershaw's spot in the rotation. Fife was charged with two runs and four hits in five innings while striking out nine against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. He has appeared in four games for the Dodgers this season, giving up six earned runs, 20 hits and 10 walks with 16 strikeouts in 212/3 innings.

"All I want, at the end of the day, is make sure we do the right thing for Clayton," Mattingly said.

Let's play two

The Dodgers and Nationals are scheduled to play a doubleheader Wednesday.

The first game will start at 1 p.m. Pacific time.

Aaron Harang, who was scheduled to pitch Tuesday, will start the first game. Josh Beckett will start the second. Jordan Zimmermann will start the first game and John Lannan the second for the National League East-leading Nationals.

Chris Capuano will start the series finale for the Dodgers on Thursday, facing Ross Detwiler.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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