Major League Baseball has updated the situation with Clayton Kershaw, a matter that fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers have been playing close attention to. According to a Monday afternoon article posted on MLB.com "The Dodgers expect Clayton Kershaw to miss four to six weeks with the back injury that forced him to leave Sunday's start early" (Ken Gurnick and Joe Trezza). Kershaw was pitching well against the Atlanta Braves yesterday when he was pinch-hit for early in the game, drawing much speculation from fans and pundits alike. Given that we are now in the final week of July, the timeline that was given would project Kershaw's return to be in late August or early September, well ahead of the start of the 2017 Major League Baseball playoffs.

Impact on the Dodgers possibly negligible?

The impact on the Los Angeles Dodgers will be felt if Kershaw is not effective when he returns to action. However, the injury has a similarity to the recent injury that Carlos Correa suffered. Both the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers have huge divisional leads and that gives them insurance to injury in their pennant races. Now that we have a loose timeline regarding Kershaw's return the situation with LA can be evaluated. They entered Monday with a 10.5-game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the NL West and are very unlikely to lose all of it in the next 4-6 weeks. The Dodgers have been playing excellently over the last several weeks, even in games where Kershaw didn't start.

That being the case, they should be able to protect their lead and then Kershaw, according to the timeline provided, will return fresh in late August or early September.

Kershaw to win pitcher of the month anyway?

Kershaw may still be in the running to win the NL's Pitcher of the Month Award for July despite the injury.

He still has three victories in the month of July and 25 innings pitched. During that time he has only given up 2 earned runs for a tiny ERA of 0.72. However, leaving the game early on Sunday and missing a start later this month will hurt his candidacy for the award.

Jacob deGrom is a pitcher that might win the award instead.

DeGrom is 3-0 this month, with a 2.49 ERA. He has a start on Monday night against the San Diego Padres and projects to another later this week, before month's end. If he is effective in both starts, the Mets' pitcher, who has been central to trade rumors of late, might win the NL's monthly award instead.

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