Clayton Kershaw in April. Apr 13, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws to the Minnesota Twins in the second inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw exited the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 5-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday with an apparent back injury.

Kershaw (seen above in an April game) was in the midst of taking some warm-up pitches in the bottom of the fifth inning when he signaled towards the dugout that something is wrong, and seemingly indicated it related to his back.

Following a 5-3 victory at Oracle Park, the Dodgers announced that Kershaw left the game with low back pain.

After the game, Kershaw told the media that it’s “hard to tell” how bad the injury is, but says he should know more tomorrow once he wakes up.

This is not Kershaw’s first battle with the injury bug this season; he was out of action between May and June with SI joint inflammation.

Dating back to 2014, the 34-year-old has suffered a string of back-related injuries in five different seasons despite never missing the entire year.

Prior to his exit against the Giants, Kershaw has been stellar when he’s on the mound, entering Thursday with a 2.66 ERA, 84 strikeouts, and a 0.984 WHIP in 81.1 innings across 14 starts.

Although this recent injury may give Dodgers fans cause to pause, Los Angeles currently has a comfortable 12-game lead in the NL West, and even if his injury is not that serious, there would be no need to rush him back into the rotation unless they completely collapse in his absence.

The Dodgers have already dealt with significant injuries to starters Walker Buehler and Andrew Heaney this season, plus several bullpen arms. They’re also still awaiting the return of Dustin May, who’s currently on a rehab assignment in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Update: Friday saw Kershaw officially placed on the 15-game injured list:

[Photo from Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Today Sports]

About Jasper Jones

A native east coaster via Connecticut, Jasper is a writer for The Comeback and Audacy Sports. He decided to head south for college, attending the University of Kentucky and graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism. Prior to joining The Comeback, Jones spent a year writing for FanSided's college football blog, Saturday Blitz, covering news surrounding the sport and recruiting. He spent the same amount of time doing some freelance work for the tabloid/sports outlet BlackSportsOnline. In his free time, Jones loves to cheer on his Kentucky Wildcats, collect sneakers, read a good book, and get in some gains at the gym. You can follow him on Twitter @jonesj2342.