Clayton Kershaw could return Monday

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks...

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the opening innings of the opening game the 2014 Major League Baseball season at the Sydney Cricket Ground March 22, 2014. (REUTERS/David Gray)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 11:12 PM ET

If Clayton Kershaw passes a final test when he joins the Los Angeles Dodgers in Miami, the Cy Young-winning southpaw will make his first start since Opening Day on Monday.

He threw 86 pitches and went five innings in a rehab outing Wednesday night, allowing two runs on six hits with nine strikeouts.

The Dodgers play at the Washington Nationals next week, when Kershaw would likely be activated.

Kershaw is scheduled to throw a bullpen session at Marlins Park after two rehab outings went off without a glitch -- other than Kershaw's vocal displeasure with the extended rehab stint.

Kershaw, who was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his back after his Opening Day start in Australia last month, started Wednesday for Class AA Chattanooga and was given a clean bill of health.

The Dodgers wanted him to push his pitch count to around 80 before Kershaw return to the majors.

Kershaw threw a bullpen Sunday before the team's final game against the Colorado Rockies and said he felt normal.

Manager Don Mattingly made his thinking clear while talking with reporters before Sunday's game.

"In my mind, it really hasn't changed," Mattingly said. "The biggest thing we've talked about is pitch count -- how do you get from 50-some pitches to 90?"

Kershaw threw 56 pitches Friday while pitching for Rancho Cucamonga, .

"His next start, we want to get him to the 75-to-80-pitch range," Mattingly said.

 


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