Clayton Kershaw still processing potential Dodgers return

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Thursday, December 14, 2023

Longtime Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who is early in his recovery from shoulder surgery, said he has not decided whether he will re-sign with Los Angeles to continue his career.

Speaking to AM 570 LA Sports on Wednesday, Kershaw said he was still "in that process" of discussing with his wife, Ellen, about where he will play next season. He joked that the free agency of Shohei Ohtani, who signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers this week, allowed him more time to ponder his future.

Kershaw, a 10-time All-Star and three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, has signed one-year contracts each of the past two years to stay with the Dodgers, the only team he has pitched for since his career began in 2008.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said last month that the team "absolutely" wants Kershaw back and that "the ball is squarely in [the Kershaws'] court."

Kershaw, 35,underwent surgery Nov. 3 to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and his shoulder capsule. The shoulder injury had sidelined Kershaw for six weeks in 2023 and hampered him during the final couple of months of the season, as he did not log more than 5 innings in a start after coming off the injured list in mid-August.

Kershaw told AM 570 that he felt he was doing "really well" through the first five weeks since the procedure.

"I'm excited to get back after the surgery and throw a ball and have it not hurt," Kershaw said while reiterating his belief that he can return in the summer, a timeline he initially set when he announced he would undergo surgery.

Kershaw added that he doesn't want to end his career on a poor performance. He allowed six runs before getting an out in the first inning of Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I think the competitor in me doesn't want it to end the way it did," he said. "I want to win. I want to win another World Series."

Kershaw also shared his reaction to the Dodgers' signing of Ohtani, calling it "great" for the team.

"It's just so much money, isn't it?" Kershaw said. "This is crazy. But I think he is a unique, unique talent. I don't think there's anybody like him, and once he starts pitching again, everybody wants to watch it. You know, I want to watch it."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.