For much of the second half of the 2012 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers and fans focused on Clayton Kershaw's ailing hip. There was initially some concern that he would have to undergo surgery, but after seeing doctors, it was determined that the Dodgers' ace couldn't do any damage to the hip by pitching. So that's what he did, and now as the 2013 season approaches, there appears to be no problem with his hip.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Kershaw has not had any issues with his right hip all winter long. He should be ready to go during spring training and back to playing without pain when the season begins.
"It was never a problem for me," said Kershaw when asked about the hip and his offseason.
Kershaw's comments were further confirmation that the Dodgers can expect their ace on the hill on Opening Day. Kershaw, the 2011 National League Cy Young, has been phenomenal in his career so far. So much so that an extension is expected soon. The Dodgers and Kershaw have been talking about a possible long-term deal, but it is not clear how close the two sides are.
Kershaw has a 2.79 ERA over five Major League seasons. He was runner-up in Cy Young voting for the National League last season despite the hip problem. Los Angeles currently has Kershaw under team control for the next two seasons, but they want to buy out this season (already included in a two-year, $19 million deal he signed before the 2012 season), his final arbitration year, and as many years of free agency they can.
The hip issue should not be a concern for the Dodgers. It appears to be a minor impingement when compared with some of the issues other players have had with similar injuries. Alex Rodriguez's injury included a hip impingement, but that was not what drove the slugger to need surgery. Kershaw should be back to 100 percent by spring if he isn't already there.