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Rehabbing Kershaw: 'I'm right where I think I should be'

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / Getty

Los Angeles Dodgers veteran Clayton Kershaw seems to be right on schedule with his rehab from shoulder surgery after throwing a successful simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Thursday.

"I'm right where I think I should be," Kershaw said, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. "I think we've always had a good plan. And not a lot has changed since the very beginning. So I really think, between our training staff and Dr. (Neal) ElAttrache, everything's really been pretty smooth sailing so far. No setbacks so far.

"I've never had surgery (before). I don't really know how it goes. People say there's ups and downs. I really haven't had the downs. So it's been great."

Kershaw, 36, underwent surgery in November after battling shoulder issues for much of 2023. A few months later, the Dodgers re-signed their franchise icon knowing that he'd miss at least the first half of the season.

The three-time Cy Young winner reached 88-89 mph in velocity in his three simulated innings Thursday, according to pitching coach Mark Prior. Manager Dave Roberts was impressed with what he saw from Kershaw.

"He's unique in his body and mentality and mindset, the work ethic and all that. And obviously, Dr. ElAttrache did a great job," Roberts said. "He's well beyond where I personally expected him."

The next step for Kershaw is a minor-league rehab assignment, likely for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. While a date for the rehab stint hasn't been set, the future Hall of Famer is itching for a return to game action.

"This (session) is good. You get your work in. But you have to get in a game setting, get in the atmosphere, there may be a long inning, maybe - just stuff that you can't really simulate here," Kershaw said. "So it's just the next step in the process."

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