Clayton Kershaw might not be the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day starter next year.
If Kershaw must undergo surgery to repair his ailing right hip, he isn’t expected to be pitching in the major leagues until the middle of May, according to people familiar with his condition who were not authorized to speak publicly about it.
Kershaw’s decision on whether to have an operation will be made after Kershaw receives a second opinion from Dr. Bryan Kelly on Tuesday in New York. Kershaw was unable to make his scheduled start for the Dodgers on Sunday.
Kershaw, 24, has been the Dodgers’ starter in each of their last two season openers. Kershaw is under contract next season for $11 million and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season.
The Dodgers have five other starting pitchers under contract for next season: Josh Beckett ($15.75 million), Ted Lilly ($13.5 million), Chad Billingsley ($11 million), Aaron Harang ($7 million) and Chris Capuano ($6 million).
Billingsley suffered a season-ending elbow injury and could have surgery this offseason. Lilly is scheduled to undergo a shoulder operation Friday. Lilly is expected to be ready for spring training.