Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw undergoes shoulder surgery, says he hopes to return next summer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw had left shoulder surgery Friday and anticipates being sidelined until next summer.

The 35-year-old in a social media post wrote the surgery with Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache was to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and his shoulder capsule. There are three glenohumeral ligaments and they reinforce the joint capsule.

“I am hopeful to return to play at some point next summer,” he wrote. “Thanks for your prayers!”

Kershaw was sidelined for six weeks by the shoulder injury and it hampered him over the final couple months of the season. Neither he nor the team ever said much about his shoulder during the season.

He didn’t pitch more than 5 1/3 innings after coming off the injured list in mid-August. Then he got hit hard by Arizona in the NL Division Series, tagged for six runs before getting an out in the first inning of the worst start of his career.

The Dodgers lost in the NLDS for the second straight year, getting swept by the D-backs.

Kershaw is a free agent for the third year in a row. He signed one-year contracts each of the last two years to stay with the Dodgers, the only team he's pitched for since his career began in 2008.

“I’m not sure how it’s going to look,” Kershaw said about his future plans when the season ended.

Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations, said the team “absolutely” wants the three-time Cy Young Award winner back. He turns 36 in March.

“The ball is squarely in their court,” Friedman said, referring to Kershaw and his wife, Ellen.