But he doesn’t know how long it will take or how far he can ultimately lie at this point in the season.
“As long as my elbow doesn’t hurt, we’re in a good position,” Kershaw said on the field before Wednesday’s game against the Padres at Petco Park. “It’s been frustrating, it’s been a long time, it shouldn’t have taken so long. It’s frustrating of me. But I hope I can be there for fun and help us in September and October. “
Kershaw hasn’t pitched since July 3 due to inflammation around his left elbow. He admittedly tried to come back too quickly, suffering lingering pain after a mock three-innings game just over three weeks later and having stopped it again as a result.
Kershaw, 33, in the final year of his contract, said it was too early to consider the possibility of returning as a reliever as he is not built enough to handle the workload of a starter .
“I will do whatever is necessary or desired,” Kershaw said. “My goal is to get back to the start, but obviously anything I can do, I will. “
The Dodgers currently operate on a four-man rotation that includes Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and David Price, the latter having spent most of the season out of the bullpen. Kershaw would ideally join this group and open matches, even if he’s only stretched out long enough to navigate an opposing formation once or twice.
Even without Kershaw – and largely without Mookie Betts – the Dodgers entered Wednesday’s game against Division rival Padres with 14 wins in their last 16. They’re still trailing the San Francisco Giants for the top spot in the National League West, but the Dodgers’ abundance of talent is a clear sign that they’ll be a force again in October.
Kershaw really wants to participate.
Winning a championship last year didn’t diminish that desire.
“Last year last year,” Kershaw said. “We want to win this year. And especially with the team that we have – there aren’t a lot of times in your career where you can have so much talent in a team for a race. And who knows what it’s going to look like next year and the year after? You want to take advantage of it. You want to do all you can to be a part of it. Now when it’s all set and you can look back, “Yeah, I won,” and I can sink my go. But for now, I want to win this year. ”