Simulated game could lead to Kershaw's return

Simulated game could lead to Kershaw's return

DENVER -- Clayton Kershaw is the headliner in an important simulated game scheduled for Tuesday at Dodger Stadium that could lead to his return to the starting rotation within the next week.

Manager Dave Roberts said it was "plausible" that Kershaw will advance directly from the live batting-practice session, but left open the possibility of a Minor League rehab start, even though time is running out on the Minor League season.

Brandon McCarthy (hip) and Brett Anderson (blister), like Kershaw (herniated disk) on the disabled list, are also expected to face hitters Tuesday.

"We're encouraged. We'll see what happens after that," Roberts said Monday of the Kershaw plans. "It depends how he comes out of it tomorrow."

Roberts said hitters from the Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga team will be imported for the workout.

Although they are on the disabled list, Kershaw, McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and Alex Wood flew with the club to Denver to take part in the team NFL fantasy draft Sunday night. The pitchers played catch at Coors Field before it rained, then flew back to Los Angeles.

Roberts said Wood (elbow surgery) is a week to 10 days away from pitching off a mound, and the club remains optimistic he will be able to rejoin the club as a reliever by mid-September.

Roberts also indicated outfielder Andre Ethier, despite reporting steady progress during his injury rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga for a broken leg, is "a possibility, but unlikely" to be activated when rosters expand Sept. 1.

"When he's ready to come back and feels like he can contribute, he'll be back," Roberts said. "It's all contingent on 'Dre and his leg. Right now it's certainly improved. He hasn't had any soreness. Every day he feels better and the recovery is getting better."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.