UPDATE (March 21, 9:15 a.m. PT): According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters Clayton Kershaw had one tooth removed and another repaired as a result of being struck by a comebacker:
Mattingly said Kershaw had one tooth extracted, another repaired. #Dodgers
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 21, 2015
That won’t be the extent of the work Kershaw needs to have done, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
Mattingly said more dental work would be needed for Kershaw, but that it isn't expected to affect his spring schedule
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) March 21, 2015
Time stood still during the third inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ game with the Oakland Athletics on Friday as Clayton Kershaw was dropped to his knees after taking a line drive off his cheek.
Kershaw was tended to by athletic trainer Stan Conte, who appeared to administer a concussion test after examining the Dodgers’ ace. Kershaw remained in the game and allowed one run to score before getting out of the inning.
The reigning National League MVP went the scheduled five innings, which included him retiring the side in order in both the fourth and fifth innings. Naturally, the line drive he took off his face was the center of attention during his media availability Friday.
Kershaw said he lost part of a tooth and believes he’ll be sore but otherwise isn’t overly concerned, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Scare? Yeah, I guess so,” Kershaw said. “It felt like getting hit by a pitch. Nothing serious. I don’t think I panicked too much. It was sore. I think I lost some tooth. I spit it out, and we got it. I assume tomorrow, I’ll be sore. I feel fine now.”
Kershaw also discussed balancing wanting to continue preparing for the regular season with considering coming out of the game after being hit by the line drive:
If it was serious, I wouldn’t have stayed in. Not worth it in Spring Training. At the same time, there’s only a couple more [games] left, and I need to build up pitch count. That’s kind of an important thing, to stay out there.”
Friday’s outing was the longest of the spring for Kershaw. He threw 68 pitches, then continued to throw in the bullpen after being lifted from the game.
Assuming Kershaw doesn’t develop any concussion-like symptoms over the night and into Saturday, he appears to still be on track for the remainder of Spring Training that will lead into him taking the mound on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium.
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