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Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw lands on IL; Chris Taylor activated

LOS ANGELES — As expected, the Dodgers placed left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the injured list on Friday, one day after he left a start with lower back pain.

Since first missing time with a herniated disc in 2016, Kershaw has lived with chronic back pain and the constant specter of injury. He has gone to the injured list multiple times in the six years since with iterations of the back issue. Most recently, the 34-year-old Kershaw spent a month on the IL earlier this season with sacroiliac joint inflammation in his lower back.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner was warming up before the fifth inning of a 5-3 victory over San Francisco on Thursday when he winced and pointed to the Dodgers’ dugout. He later walked off the field with a trainer.

“Just felt something kind of lock up there in the fifth and couldn’t really throw after that,” Kershaw said Thursday. “Something in my back again. … I saw a doctor, but really nothing to do until – just see how I wake up in the morning, is probably the first thing, and then go from there.”

Kershaw, a nine-time All-Star, is 7-3 with a 2.64 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 15 starts (85-1/3 innings).

In the short term, the Dodgers have two off days next week to absorb Kershaw’s subtraction from the starting rotation. In the longer view, Dustin May is expected to make two more rehab starts in Triple-A (though that will be re-evaluated after his next outing) before he could rejoin the Dodgers. And, eventually, the Dodgers hope Walker Buehler can return from his own injury before the end of the regular season.

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