Kershaw to return from DL Friday vs. Padres

Kershaw to return from DL Friday vs. Padres

LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw's long-awaited return to the Dodgers' rotation will come on Friday against the Padres in San Diego, manager Dave Roberts said.

Kershaw has been on the disabled list since July 24 after exiting with a lower back strain against the Braves. The Dodgers have a seven-game road trip coming up and plan to have Kershaw rejoin the team on Tuesday in Arizona before activating him to open the weekend.

Los Angeles faces a 17-game stretch with no days off, and Roberts said a six-man rotation is a "very good possibility" with All-Star Alex Wood (SC joint inflammation) also slated to come off the DL in San Diego.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner pitched five innings on Saturday in his rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City, recording eight strikeouts. The Dodgers have fared well without Kershaw, going 23-7, owning the best record in the Majors at 91-38 and a 19-game lead in the National League West.

Kershaw is 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 21 starts this season, pacing the Majors in both wins and ERA.

Joshua Thornton 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.