LOS ANGELES >> The Dodgers still aren’t prepared to declare a probable date for Clayton Kershaw’s return from the disabled list. But there was good reason to take the under on the initial four- to six-week timeline reported Monday, before Kershaw met with a back specialist.Kershaw is taking pain medication for the lower- back strain he suffered in his most recent start Sunday, Manager Dave Roberts said. He’ll take a few days to “not do a whole lot,” Roberts added, and won’t resume throwing until he is symptom-free.“We’ll know more as his medicine takes,” Roberts said. “We’ll go from there.”For all the uncertainty hovering over the Dodgers’ ace, there is no talk of surgery or anything else that would preclude Kershaw from ramping up in time to pitch in October. At least not yet. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Roberts reiterated that the injury was acute. The team had no reason to suspect Kershaw was on the verge of injuring his back when he went nine days between starts around the All-Star break.“If there was any hint of that,” Roberts said, “we would’ve skipped him entirely.”Kershaw suffered the injury on his final warm-up pitch before the second inning of the Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. He finished the inning, marking his shortest start since 2014.In 2016, Kershaw missed more than two months while recovering from a herniated disc in his back.Stewart to start Right-hander Brock Stewart will jump into the Dodgers rotation today and make his first start of the season when he faces the Minnesota Twins.Stewart, 25, hasn’t allowed a run in 13 innings, spanning six relief appearances this season. A sixth-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2014, Stewart made his major-league debut last year and went 2-2 with a 5.79 ERA in seven games (five starts).A spring shoulder injury forced Stewart to miss more than two months to begin the 2017 season. When he returned, there was no room for him in the rotation. With the injury to Kershaw, Roberts elected to use Stewart to give his healthy starters an extra day rest. Alex Wood is to pitch Friday’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants.Roberts said he also considered right-hander Ross Stripling to take Kershaw’s spot in the rotation. But Stripling pitched three innings out of the bullpen Sunday. Stewart, who had been dealing with an illness over the weekend, hadn’t pitched since a two-inning relief appearance Thursday.“I think the (changeup) is better, and the slider is a tick better,” Roberts said of Stewart. “Against the Cubs, the slider was really good. We really haven’t seen that since. The change is considerably better than it was last year.”InjuriesAdrian Gonzalez (back) continues to take ground balls and run curved lines on the basepaths. Roberts said the veteran first baseman could begin a minor -league rehabilitation assignment Monday, when the Dodgers begin a 10-game trip to Atlanta, New York and Arizona.Gonzalez hasn’t played since June 11, more than six weeks ago. His rehab assignment will last “a week at the minimum,” Roberts said.Pitcher Adam Liberatore (left forearm tightness) has resumed throwing from a short distance at the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch facility in Arizona.
“He is a first team player,” Zidane said. “We know exactly what we’re doing with him.”Rodrygo replaced Vinicius to make his debut against Osasuna but his four consecutive starts have come in the absence of Gareth Bale, who is recovering from a calf injury and may struggle to regain his place when he returns.There will be sturdier opponents than Galatasaray, who offered Madrid a way back into this group by losing 1-0 at home last month and put up precious little resistance here.But Rodrygo’s two early finishes were ruthless, both set up by Marcelo crosses from the left. The first he cushioned and steered back inside, leaving Mario Lemina on the floor, before guiding a shot into the far corner.The second was more simple, a leap and a well-timed header past Galatasaray’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.In the 14th minute, it was three. Prompted by VAR, referee Felix Zwayer decided Steven Nzonzi had caught the foot of Toni Kroos inside the area and Ramos lifted his penalty down the middle.There was still time for Benzema to add a fourth before half-time as Rodrygo capitalised on an error from Yuto Nagatomo and played a perfect pass for the Frenchman to score.The rest of the match was a procession, with Casemiro and Hazard both taken off, rested for the trip to Eibar on Saturday.Benzema scored his second late on, tapping in from close range to make it five, before Rodrygo raced in from the left, exchanged passes with the Frenchman, and poked in.After the final whistle, he kissed the matchball as he left, while the fans chanted his name.Share on: WhatsApp RodrygoMadrid, Spain | AFP | Rodrygo scored a sensational hat-trick and the fastest two goals in Champions League history on Wednesday as Real Madrid humiliated Galatasaray 6-0.The 18-year-old had his double after just six minutes and 14 seconds at the Santiago Bernabeu before teeing up Karim Benzema to make it four, after Sergio Ramos had chipped in a penalty.Benzema then added a fifth late in the second half, leaving Rodrygo to complete his incredible treble in injury-time.Madrid’s emphatic victory means they are virtually qualified from Group A, sitting five points ahead of Club Brugge, even if Paris Saint-Germain who are top look certain to claim first place.It means Zinedine Zidane’s side will likely be at the mercy of the draw when it comes to the last 16 but that is their punishment for a miserable opening defeat in Paris and an equally dispiriting draw at home to Brugge.Yet the knock-out stages are far away and Rodrygo is the man of the moment.After scoring the fastest ever league goal by a Real debutant in September – a sumptuous control and finish after 94 seconds – he now has his name etched into the European record books too.Benzema made his own piece of history by equalling and then surpassing Alfred di Stefano’s 49 European Cup goals but the way he hoisted Rodrygo to celebrate his first suggested he knew this was the teenager’s night.When club president Florentino Perez presented Rodrygo to the fans last summer, he said they had signed one of the world’s “great prodigies”, a year after Vinicius Junior had also arrived from Flamengo.Determined to avoid a repeat of losing out on Neymar to Barcelona, Madrid flooded Brazil with scouts, each of them instructed to find the next young gems.They found Vinicius, who excelled last season but has struggled since the arrival of Eden Hazard, and Rodrygo, who stayed at Santos for a year before finally joining in June.He was supposed to be introduced gradually to the senior team by playing first for Castilla, the club’s B team, and there was confusion earlier this season when one weekend he turned out for neither.