Dodgers injury updates: Clayton Kershaw close to rehab stint, Bobby Miller return

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three / Norm Hall/GettyImages

When Clayton Kershaw re-signed with the Dodgers, it was with the knowledge that he wouldn't be back until the summer after undergoing a shoulder surgery. Kershaw, who was present at spring training, provided a general idea for when he'd be back (late July/early August) but was careful not to make any promises and get expectations up.

However, Kershaw's rehab has unfolded sort of swimmingly. Unlike some of his teammates — Brusdar Graterol, Max Muncy, Ryan Brasier, and Joe Kelly among them — Kershaw has had a program and has stuck to it without any major stumbling blocks that have shut him down and hindered his progress.

His latest stop has been throwing sim games. His first was on June 1, which he reportedly walked away from feeling good, and he's scheduled for another before he could be ready to undergo a rehab assignment in the minors. Dave Roberts said after the initial game that Kershaw was "way ahead of schedule," which certainly seems to be the case.

His return, whenever it happens, will certainly shake up the Dodgers rotation (full at five men, soon to be six when Bobby Miller returns), but it's been refreshing and exciting to watch his pretty linear progression through recovery.

Dodgers injury updates: Clayton Kershaw ahead of schedule, Bobby Miller to fill out a six-man rotation?

Bobby Miller has been on a rehab assignment since May 26. He made two starts in Single-A, three innings in the first and 3 1/3 in the second, and gave up seven hits, six runs, and and three walks over those starts while only striking out four. He was moved to Oklahoma City for another start on June 7, where he did a lot better, pitching four innings, giving up four hits and allowing just one earned run. Though an official move has yet to be announced, Miller could be ready to return very soon.

Miller coming back to the Dodgers could be a perfect supplement to their current strategy of giving starters six days off between starts. It's been benefitting Yoshinobu Yamamoto and James Paxton specifically — Yamamoto only pitched once a week in Japan and Paxton has a history of injury — but it could take a lot of work off the bullpen's plate. It would also mean not having to move Gavin Stone, whether that be down to the minors or into the bullpen, as Stone's been one of the fastest-improving pieces of the pitching staff.