Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw might potentially return this season after a second opinion on his hip condition came back with better news than expected. The Los Angeles Times reports that manager Don Mattingly believes there's still a chance for Kershaw to return, though the current status of the left-hander is unclear.
Mattingly concedes there's something "serious" in Kershaw's hip, just not any worse than it was before.
Yesterday, Kershaw was reportedly considering hip surgery. The ace's status at that time was much more bleak, as it was possible he'd even miss the start of next season. After visiting with Dr. Bryan Kelly on Tuesday, the outlook appears to be less painful for the Dodgers.
Stephen Fife will be Kershaw's replacement in the rotation. Kershaw won't throw in any bullpen sessions, according to the Times.
Kershaw currently holds a 12-9 record this season with a 2.70 ERA.
Kershaw's decision on whether to have an operation will be made after [he] receives a second opinion from Dr. Bryan Kelly on Tuesday in New York.
Kershaw (12-9, 2.70) was unable to make his last scheduled start on Sunday and is feared to have a torn labrum in his right hip. (Coincidentally, a labrum tear is the same injury that fellow Dodger Jerry Hairston Jr. underwent season-ending surgery for last week.) The 2011 Cy Young winner's injury comes at the worst possible time for the Dodgers, who are just a game back of the Cardinals for the second wild card, but are now without three starting pitchers: Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly.
The 24-year-old Kershaw, who has been LA's Opening Day starter the last two seasons, is under contract for $11 million next season and will not become a free agent until after 2014.