Roberts concedes Kershaw may not be ready for opening day

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says Clayton Kershaw is making steady progress in his recovery from left shoulder inflammation, but the ace may not be ready to start opening day.

Kershaw threw on flat ground Monday. The three-time Cy Young Award winner hasn’t thrown off a mound since he felt discomfort in his throwing shoulder nearly two weeks ago. He’s taking anti-inflammatory medication.

The Dodgers open the season on March 28 at home against Arizona. Kershaw has started a franchise-record eight consecutive times on opening day.

Roberts conceded that Kershaw’s shoulder issues and the 24 days until the season starts might have set him back too far to be ready.

Roberts told reporters the top priority is for Kershaw to be ready and confident mentally and physically. The manager said there’s too much importance put on the opening day roster.

Roberts said the team is comfortable it has enough starting-pitching depth to get by until Kershaw is ready.

The five-man rotation is likely to be Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling.