Kershaw says hip feels good, in line to start Friday

Kershaw says hip feels good, in line to start Friday

SAN DIEGO -- Clayton Kershaw threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Tuesday and is in line to start for the Dodgers on Friday night against the Rockies and in next Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Giants.

Manager Don Mattingly confirmed after Tuesday night's game that Kershaw would start Friday as long as his hip does not flare up again. Joe Blanton is expected to be pushed back to Saturday with Stephen Fife being skipped.

Kershaw, whose availability has been uncertain since incurring a right hip impingement earlier this month, apparently has found a way to avoid irritating the condition. He bounced back sound after scrambling through five innings Sunday in Cincinnati after needing 12 days' rest following his previous start.

"There's no particular reason why it feels good now and not before," Kershaw said. "But I'm not complaining. It feels good now and that's good."

Kershaw said he's available to pitch as soon as possible, joking that "tomorrow" sounds good. Mattingly, who watched Kershaw's bullpen session with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and trainer Sue Falsone, said Kershaw also threw at the park on the Monday day off.

"Friday would be his day, if we get to that conclusion," said Mattingly. "He's feeling totally normal. I saw him in the lobby and said, 'Out of the 'pen tomorrow?' and he said, 'All right.' In his mind he probably could.

"If you hadn't known anything was wrong over the last two weeks, you wouldn't know. He's doing everything he would do after any start."

Kershaw has previously refused to discuss the possibility of offseason surgery, but he hinted that it might not be necessary regardless.

"I don't know what to expect now because it feels good," he said. "I didn't know what it would be long term to begin with. We'll see what happens when I make it through however more starts and make a decision from there."