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Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw plays catch five days after back injury

LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw participated in a pregame catch Friday, a brief workout that could force the Los Angeles Dodgers to rethink the timetable for their injured ace.

The Dodgers said it would be four to six weeks before Kershaw returned to the mound after a back injury forced him out of his most recent start after two innings. That caution lasted four days.

"He came in yesterday and felt really good," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "So the medication, obviously, he responded to. For him to get the go-ahead to start playing catch again, I think that's ahead of where we all anticipated, so I'm going to be cautiously optimistic."

When asked if the Dodgers would have to, if there are no setbacks, adjust their timetable for the return of their three-time Cy Young Award winner, Roberts said, "Probably."

"That's why we were reluctant to put a timetable out there," he said.

On Friday, the Dodgers placed Grant Dayton, another left-handed pitcher of their roster, in the 10-day disabled list with a recurring neck problem. The team recalled Kyle Farmer from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Dayton's spot on the 25-man roster.

Dayton, 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA for Los Angeles this season, had pitched twice for the Dodgers, giving up four runs in 1 innings with a blown save, since returning from his first DL stint.

Farmer hit a combined .326 with nine homers and 47 RBIs, starting his season with Double-A Tulsa before joining Oklahoma City in late May.

The Dodgers also announced the acquisition of RHP Luke Farrell from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations.

Farrell, 26, made one start this season for the Royals, giving up five runs in 2 innings against Minnesota in his major league debut on July 1. He was 7-4 with a 4.07 ERA with Triple-A Omaha with 94 strikeouts in 97 innings.

Farrell was designated for assignment by Kansas City earlier this week after the Royals acquired Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter from the San Diego Padres.

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