Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw to return on Friday against Marlins

It appears that Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw will be back on the west coast before the end of the week as the veteran southpaw’s injury hiatus is coming to an end. According to a Sunday afternoon report from Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA, Kershaw will pitch for the Dodgers on Friday against the Miami Marlins.

Kershaw has been out since June 26 as the result of a lingering back issue. He participated in a rehabilitation start for Advanced Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday, striking out five batters in three scoreless innings. Before being forced to the sideline due to the aforementioned injury, Kershaw was in the midst of a historically great season.

The left-hander was 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA before going down with back problems. Over 121 innings of work, Kershaw fanned 145 opposing batters and allowed just 79 hits while walking nine. The result of Kershaw’s prowess was a minuscule 0.727 WHIP.

Now, the Dodgers are getting the best pitcher in baseball back for the stretch run, something that will absolutely make the team significantly more potent heading into the postseason. Los Angeles is currently 75-60 and holds a two-game lead over the San Francisco Giants for first-place in the National League West division. Despite the absence of the ace of their starting rotation, the Dodgers have not only managed to stay afloat but have battled through numerous injuries to remain atop the divisional standings ahead of the always dangerous Giants.

The Dodgers will play a rubber match with the San Diego Padres on Sunday afternoon.

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