Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw saw a hip specialist in New York on Tuesday. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)
CINCINNATI – Manager Don Mattingly wouldn’t say when Clayton Kershaw could pitch again, but didn’t rule out a return on Sunday for the Dodgers’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds.
Kershaw, who missed his last start with a right hip injury, threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Friday at Great American Ball Park.
“We’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Mattingly said.
Aaron Harang is currently scheduled to pitch on Sunday on three days’ rest. Harang last pitched on short rest in 2008.
Kershaw said he felt “great” during his mound session, but said he didn’t know if he could pitch Sunday.
“Any time your team’s in the race, you definitely want to be a part of it,” Kershaw said. “It’s not easy to just sit on the sidelines and watch, but I’m hopeful I can come back at some point. Hopefully, it’s not too late.”
Kershaw last pitched on Sept. 11, but has continued throwing on flat ground since. As a result, he doesn’t think he has lost any arm strength.
“Arm-wise, it feels great,” Kershaw said. “I’m not worried about that.”
Kershaw declined to talk about his hip injury.
Whether Kershaw pitches on Sunday won’t be Kershaw’s call or Mattingly’s call.
“It’s not going to be him saying it,” Mattingly said. “It’s going to have to be the medical people saying he’s passed every test and he’s cleared every hurdle. It’s not going to be my decision.
“It’s an organizational decision with Clayton. Does it make sense? That’s really more than a manager’s decision. When you have a guy with his kind of arm and his upside, you’re not going to leave that decision only in my hands.”
Would Mattingly allow Kershaw to pitch in a game if the Dodgers are no longer in contention?
“That’d be another discussion for everybody,” Mattingly said. “I know my opinion on that, but I don’t know if it’s really my place [to talk about that].”
In other injury news, Shane Victorino was held out of the lineup because of a stiff left wrist. Victorino said he hit his wrist against a wall when chasing a ball into the left-field corner at Nationals Park the previous night. “Before I went to bed last night, I felt something was stiff,” Victorino said. “When I woke up this morning, it was worse.”
Sidelined starting pitcher Ted Lilly underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery to clean up his labrum. Lilly is expected to be able to start throwing in six to eight weeks. He is expected to be ready for spring training.
Chad Billingsley, who is shut down for the season with an elbow injury, played catch at Great American Ball Park. Billingsley has started a throwing program designed to test the condition of his elbow. Shortly after the season, he and the Dodgers will decide whether he will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery.
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