Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 2 Days

Clayton Kershaw (back) will throw a bullpen session Tuesday.

Kershaw declared after a 50-pitch simulated game Sunday that he was ready for a rehab assignment, but obviously the Dodgers don't agree just yet. It's possible Tuesday's 'pen session will be his last until he indeed does get assigned to a minor league affiliate, though the club hasn't divulged that information. Regardless, Kershaw is certainly trending in the right direction.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 3 Days

Clayton Kershaw (back) said following a 50-pitch simulated game Sunday that he assumes a rehab start is his next step.

Kershaw went three innings Sunday and was throwing at full intensity. The Dodgers have yet to officially announce when the left-hander will begin a rehab assignment, but it certainly sounds like later this week is a reasonable expectation. He'll need at least a couple outings, with a mid-May return to the Dodgers' rotation being the goal.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 6 Days

Clayton Kershaw (back) threw a successful 35-pitch bullpen session on Thursday afternoon.

Kershaw worked in some breaking balls and finished the session with "a couple lively fastballs," according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. The ace left-hander should begin facing live hitters by early next week and is on track to rejoin the Dodgers around mid-May.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 8 Days

Clayton Kershaw (back) showed his best velocity since getting injured during a bullpen session Tuesday.

Kershaw threw 26 pitches, with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly standing in as an imaginary batter at one point. The left-hander said after the session that he was getting close, though he offered no potential timetable. More will be known about his potential return date once he's facing hitters.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 11 Days

Clayton Kershaw (back) threw off a mound Saturday for the first time since landing on the disabled list.

MLB.com's Ken Gurnick says Kershaw "wasn't lobbing" the ball, so it would appear that the left-handed ace has been taken off his submaximal throwing program. There is no timetable yet for Kershaw's return to the Dodgers' starting rotation, but throwing off a mound is obviously a significant step in the right direction.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 12 Days

Clayton Kershaw was activated from the DL on Sunday March 30.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 12 Days

Clayton Kershaw was activated from the DL on Sunday March 30.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 22 Days

Clayton Kershaw (back) will rehab for another 2-3 weeks before be re-evaluated.

The Dodgers are placing Kershaw on a "submaximal throwing program" over that stretch before deciding after that whether he's ready to throw at max effort. It means that he surely won't return before the end of April now, which is obviously a massive blow to fantasy owners that used a first-round pick on the left-hander. Paul Maholm will hold down a spot in the rotation until Kershaw is ready.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 22 Days

Clayton Kershaw (back) might resume throwing Wednesday.

The Dodgers are taking a day-by-day approach with their ace, who has been limited to conditioning workouts since landing on the disabled list with inflammation in his upper back. There's no exact timetable yet for Kershaw's return. The left-hander has been downplaying the injury, but Los Angeles management will continue to play it safe with the $215 million man. A minor league rehab assignment is likely in store.

Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 24 Days

Clayton Kershaw is maintaining a consistent 5-day workout regimen while sidelined with upper back inflammation.

On Sunday, that simulated outing was 25 sprints in the outfield. There remains no clear timetable for how long the Dodgers star southpaw will be on the shelf, but the team doesn't want to rush him back and risk further aggravation.