Kershaw not expected to return this month

Outfielder Thompson also unlikely to be back before September

Kershaw not expected to return this month

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are still optimistic that Clayton Kershaw will pitch again for them this season, but manager Dave Roberts conceded Friday that a return from the ace this season would have to come in September.

Kershaw still has yet to pick up a baseball or engage in any baseball activities since a setback with his back last month. He is currently undergoing back stabilization procedures as he tries to work toward pitching again.

"As I understand it, it's just more there is a progression, a list of stages," Roberts said. "Right now, he's just trying to ascend and get to the marks that they expect. At that point in time, he'll start baseball activities, but to my knowledge, I'm not certain when that will be."

Kershaw's absence has continued to be felt by a Dodgers rotation flooded by injuries, the most recent victim being Bud Norris (back tightness), whom the team traded for to fill Kershaw's spot in the rotation.

Kershaw isn't the only player the Dodgers now expect to come back in September due to a lingering back problem, as Roberts also said Trayce Thompson (back irritation) will need at least another month.

While Thompson was recently thought to be near a rehab assignment, the team has decided to taper back his baseball activities.

"Just trying to get to the root of it and getting him back to health," Roberts said. "We just feel as an organization to get him to take batting practice and throw is really not doing him any good. His return, I don't see it happening until Sept. 1."

Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.