Dodgers Ace Reportedly Will Miss Significant Time

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Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw's back locked up again yesterday and forced him to leave his start after two innings of work, but the last thing any Dodgers fans should do is assume the worst. Per multiple reports, Kershaw is expected to miss four to six weeks after leaving the game in the top of the second inning with another back ailment.

"We feel for Kersh, and he's down obviously, which makes sense, but there's nothing we can do", Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. Tests on Kershaw's back are scheduled for Monday.

The Dodgers weren't the only team to get a walk-off win.

While the loss of a pitcher of Kershaw's caliber would be a death knell for many clubs' playoff chances, the Dodgers are rather well-suited to getting by without him.

The National League West leaders overcame a blown save by Kenley Jansen to beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Logan Forsythe's bases-loaded single in the 10th inning and gain a split in the four-game series. Whether the new injury is totally unrelated to last year's, or if this is the new normal for the consensus best pitcher on the planet, back injuries are notoriously tricky for athletes.

While no one was entirely certain about the extent of Kershaw's injury, many seemed resigned to the fact that he would miss some time.

To that point, an impromptu bullpen game had been going smoothly for the Dodgers.

"I don't want to compare, just because there's so many variables", Kershaw told the Los Angeles Times after Sunday's game. With a league-leading 15-2 record and 2.04 ERA, finding a viable replacement for Kershaw on the waiver wire or via trade will be next to impossible.

Kershaw (15-2, 2.04 earned-run average) would be on track to return by the end of August or early September. Support the Kershaw's Challenge YouCaring.com campaign through July 24th for a chance to win the grand prize experience - playing in the 5th Annual Ping Pong 4 objective grand tournament (www.youcaring.com/kershawschallengePP4P).

It's also worth noting that the team survived without Kershaw last season.

There is no replacing a juggernaut talent like Kershaw, who was well on his way toward a fourth Cy Young Award. It's your home for in-depth, analytical baseball coverage with the fantasy industry's best minds right up until the final pitch of the 2017 MLB regular season. Even before Kershaw's injury, the Dodgers have been linked prominently with Darvish, the Texas Rangers right-hander who might or might not be available - depending on how much you're willing to pay for a player who can become a free agent this winter and whether the Rangers consider themselves in the wild-card race.