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Clayton Kershaw's Curious Injury

In the midst of a playoff push, the Dodgers can hardly afford any new injuries. That's why the loss of starter Clayton Kershaw, who will miss his next scheduled appearance on Friday with a bruised shoulder, stings particularly painfully.

Of course, if that injury came in the course of duty, so to speak, it might be more understandable. Instead, Kershaw injured himself chasing a fly ball during batting practice on Sunday, crashing into an outfield wall as if he was doing a Torii Hunter impression.

"I wasn't running really hard, but at the same time if you don't something is there and you run into it, you don't brace for it at all," Kershaw said. "It is obviously pretty disappointing. It's really frustrating, too. At the same time, it is what it is. I just have to get better now."

It's a curiously unique injury, and it makes one wonder why more pitchers don't get injured this way. You'd assume that most are smart enough to avoid crashing into a wall chasing after a ball, but a young, eager pitcher? What would keep them from chasing after a deep shot over enthusiastically?

Kershaw should recover and return next week, but as with all shoulder injuries, he'll have to be patient waiting for his arm to heal. And since he's a pitcher, the Dodgers are likely to be extremely reluctant to let him return to early ... even if the injury reportedly doesn't affect his pitching, but rather keeps him from being able to field normally.

"That's the plan," Kershaw said of missing only a single start, "It's my right shoulder, so whenever I can tolerate the pain, I'll be good to go.

"I wish it didn't happen. It was one of those freak things. I feel bad. I kind of feel like I'm letting the team down a little bit by missing a start."

A freak accident indeed, though that may be seen as a strong sign of fate if Colorado mounts a late-season charge at the NL West title.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 9, 2009; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, injuries  
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the bigger question for me is, why on earth would you let your starting pitchers shag fly balls during batting practice?

especially one who's been on as big a roll as kershaw has.

but hey, it's kershaw being kershaw

Posted by: adampschroeder | September 10, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

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