Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, scratched from starting Sunday in San Diego because of injury, said he believes he can return to action a few days later.
"Hopefully, it's just one start," Kershaw said Wednesday. "If I had to pitch [Sunday], I could probably do it. It just wouldn't feel good."
Hyun-Jin Ryu is the likely starter Sunday, with Dan Haren ready if Ryu's toe injury is not healed by then, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. The Dodgers are off Monday, and Mattingly said Zack Greinke would start Tuesday.
Kershaw said he "really wanted to pitch" Sunday in the Dodgers' third regular-season game after playing their first two in Australia. Dodgers officials told Kershaw he would be "pushed back a few days," which could make him a candidate to start the April 4 home opener.
The Dodgers announced the injury as inflammation in a back muscle. Kershaw said the soreness is in his lat muscle.
"I tried to play catch yesterday," he said. "It just didn't feel very good."
Kershaw, who started the season opener against Arizona in Australia, wouldn't say when he first felt the discomfort.
"What did Donnie say?" Kershaw said. "Whatever he said is what you go with."
Mattingly said he first became aware of the injury on Tuesday. Kershaw declined to say whether the long flights to and from Australia might have contributed to his condition.
"I don't know, honestly," he said. "I really don't know how I did it. It's gotten better every day."
So what was the first day he experienced the discomfort?
"Whatever Donnie said," Kershaw said. "Good try, though."