Clayton Kershaw made his first rehab start on Friday with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ single-A team, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Kershaw pitched five innings, allowing one run and striking out six without showing signs of being limited by the back inflammation that landed him on the disabled list.

It’s been a long, but steady recovery for Kershaw, who was placed on a submaximal throwing program by the Dodgers. The ace of the Dodgers’ pitching staff slowly began to increase the amount of intensity in his bullpen sessions before going full effort in a simulated game.

Throughout his recovery, Kershaw managed to make progress without suffering any setbacks, which applies to his rehab start. According to Anthony Witrado of ESPN LA, Kershaw will throw in the bullpen on Monday and it will then be decided if another rehab start will be necessary:

Prior to Friday, Manager Don Mattingly indicated Kershaw would likely make more than one rehab start but naturally, Kershaw’s desire is to next take the mound at the big league level, reports Witrado:

While Kershaw may be in favor of toeing the rubber in an MLB stadium, the Dodgers training staff may not quite be on board, according to Witrado:

Given Kershaw’s competitive nature and the fact that he looked sharp on Friday, there could be a tug of war that takes place. The Dodgers would undeniably benefit from Kershaw’s return and it would likely bump Paul Maholm, who is Saturday’s starter and has struggled, out of the starting rotation.

However, considering there was some concern the injury could linger and potentially keep the reigning Cy Young Award winner out until June, now is no time to allow Kershaw to potentially rush himself back.
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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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