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09/12/09 9:30 PM ET
Dodgers' lefties continue to work back
Tuesday return a possibility for Wolf; Kershaw farther out
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Randy Wolf reported continued improvement with his hyperextended left elbow on Saturday and said he was still a possibility to start on Tuesday night against the Pirates. Wolf missed his scheduled start against the Giants on Friday night because of the injury, which occurred while he took batting practice on Sept. 2, and he received a cortisone injection on Tuesday. He last pitched on Sept. 5, when he went seven innings to beat the Padres. Manager Joe Torre said if Wolf is unable to start on Tuesday night, he would slide Jeff Weaver or Charlie Haeger into the starting spot. Weaver hasn't pitched since throwing two innings on Sunday. Haeger hasn't pitched since throwing one inning on Sept. 2. Weaver threw a bullpen session before Saturday night's game, unusual for a long reliever, but not unusual for someone who might start three days later. Weaver is 5-2 with a 1.93 ERA against the Pirates, most recently a four-hit shutout in 2007 for St. Louis. Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw stepped up workouts in his recovery from a separated (the club calls it a bruise) right (non-throwing) shoulder. Kershaw threw off a mound on Saturday at AT&T Park for the first time since suffering the injury. "It felt a lot better today," said Kershaw. "I threw about 70 percent. When I tried to put more effort and tried to throw harder, it was a little uncomfortable, I still felt it. But it's better than yesterday." The lefty Kershaw said the harder he tries to throw, the faster he moves his right arm and the more he feels it in the injured area. In Kershaw's delivery, he raises his right elbow in front of his face before delivering the pitch. He also worked out of the stretch, in which he has an exaggerated upward reach before coming set. "I can deal with discomfort," he said. "I don't want to have pain. I might have some tightness lifting my arm over my head when I come back. As long as it's not sharp pain, I'm OK with that. I'm getting closer." Kershaw hasn't started since pitching well in a 2-0 loss to San Diego on Sept. 4, and he suffered the injury two days later during batting practice, slamming into the Plexiglas shielding the scoreboard in the right-field fence at Dodger Stadium while shagging a fly ball.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.