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Clayton Kershaw decision is on hold

A nagging hip injury threatens to keep the Dodgers' ace off the mound for the rest of the season.

September 18, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw saw a hip specialist in New York on Tuesday.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw saw a hip specialist in New York on Tuesday. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)

And the final piece of news on the hip of Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday was … hang in there?

The Dodgers have officially entered a wait-and-see period regarding the sore hip of their prized left-hander.

Kershaw on Tuesday visited a New York hip specialist who confirmed he was suffering from right hip impingement.

Dr. Bryan Kelly told the Dodgers that Kershaw could continue to pitch if he could handle the pain without risking further damage to the hip, though the Dodgers said they would not pitch him if the pain persisted.

Kershaw was, however, scheduled to restart his throwing program Tuesday.

Kershaw would not meet with reporters after Tuesday’s game against the Nationals in Washington, D.C., was rained out, nor would he authorize trainer Sue Falsone to meet with the media to discuss his hip, so the information remained fairly vague.

Manager Don Mattingly told reporters earlier Tuesday there was a chance Kershaw, the National League’s reigning Cy Young winner, could pitch again this season.

The hip impingement -- the joint pinching at the hip while rotating for the delivery -- was previously diagnosed by team doctor Neal ElAttrache. Kelly is considered one of the premier hip specialists in the country. The Dodgers, however, said they would continue to forward results of Kershaw’s MRI and other tests to additional doctors for extra opinions.

Kershaw missed his start Sunday, and is not currently in the rotation schedule. Stephen Fife, with four career starts, has stepped into his spot.

There is a fear among the Dodgers that the hip will ultimately need surgery, which could keep him from pitching at the major league level until the middle of next May.

Kershaw is 12-9 with a 2.70 earned-run average and leads the National League with 206 strikeouts, and the Dodgers would face a difficult task to make the playoffs -- or advance if they did -- without their ace.

So he and the team are not ready to give up on his returning over the next two weeks. The Dodgers have 15 regular-season games remaining.


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