Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has been shut down after experiencing lingering soreness

Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw works out before a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

CHICAGO (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has been shut down for a week after experiencing lingering soreness in his comeback from left shoulder surgery.

Kershaw, 36, had an MRI that “showed no new incidents,” manager Dave Roberts said before Monday night's game at the Chicago White Sox.

“You go through surgery. You go through rehab. You start throwing. You ramp up velocity, workload,” Roberts said, "and there is bound to be some soreness, and that's where we're at.

“So then you do the scan to see if there's a new incident, which there wasn't, so that's why we feel very comfortable and confident that this is just a blip.”

Kershaw had surgery in November, a month after he recorded just one out in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against Arizona. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner re-signed with Los Angeles in February, staying with his only big league club.

Kershaw made a rehab start with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday night, throwing 37 pitches while working three innings of one-run ball. He was expected to throw four innings in his second rehab start Tuesday for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

After he takes a week off from throwing, Kershaw will begin to ramp up again.

“A week is not long enough to worry about cutting into the buildup that he's already had,” Roberts said. “But I think it's a way to kind of get us back to get the soreness out, so that's the main thing.”

Los Angeles is on top of the NL West once again, but it has been hit hard by injuries this month. Mookie Betts broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch on June 16. Yoshinobu Yamamoto (strained rotator cuff) and Walker Buehler (hip inflammation) were placed on the 15-day injured list, taking the right-handers out of the team's rotation for now.

The Dodgers were without outfielder Teoscar Hernández for the opener of their three-game series at Chicago. Roberts said Hernández flew home to the Dominican Republic for a personal reason, but is expected to be back on Tuesday.

Hernández played in the team's first 79 games after signing a $23.5 million, one-year contract in January. He is batting .254 with 18 homers and 54 RBIs.

The next steps for Kershaw will depend on how he feels when he starts throwing again, Roberts said.

“Once he starts playing catch, then there'll be certainly a bullpen or two and I would assume, for me, he would just go back into a rehab game,” Roberts said. “But again, that's Clayton and the training staff will have the conversation.”

Infielder Max Muncy, who is on the 60-day IL with an oblique injury, has been working with medicine balls and is expected to swing a bat this week. Roberts said he thinks Muncy will be back with the team shortly after the All-Star break.

Muncy hasn't played in a big league game since May 15. He hit. 212 with 36 homers and a career-high 105 RBIs for the Dodgers last year.