LOS ANGELES >> Three days after going on the DL with a back injury for the second consecutive season, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said it was a “big relief” when an examination showed it wasn’t the same herniated disc that sent him to the sidelines for 75 days last season.But this injury (a lower back strain) will sideline Kershaw for an undetermined length of time. He denied that any timetable has been placed on his return.“There’s no timetable. Whoever said that is very much mistaken. False source,” he said, referring to reports (tacitly endorsed by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on Monday) that pegged his recovery time at four to six weeks. “People just tend to run with stuff these days. No timetable. Could be sooner. We’ll see how it goes.”Kershaw insisted there were no warning signs or issues with his back before the second inning of Sunday’s start. Regardless, he said “it’s miserable” being injured and unable to pitch “even more so this year with all I’ve done to maintain it.” “That’s how it worked out last year. I didn’t really have a choice,” he said. “Ultimately, I’d just like to pitch every fifth day until the postseason and then pitch. That’s not what’s going to happen so I’m going to make this work.”Ravin steps upIt’s been a rough but ultimately rewarding few days for Dodgers pitcher Josh Ravin.The 29-year-old right-hander sat on a bus driving from Iowa, where the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers were wrapping up a road trip, to Oklahoma for five hours in the small hours Monday morning. Ravin and pitcher Edward Paredes then waited for another bus to take them to the airport. There, they waited through an hour-long delay before takeoff, then another hour-long delay upon landing in California.When Ravin finally got into a game and pitched three scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night, he did the Dodgers a tremendous service. Their regular long reliever, Brock Stewart, moved into the starting rotation Wednesday. Manager Dave Roberts was bracing for the possibility of a “bullpen game.” He needed someone to eat innings.“Those are conversations that we had this past winter,” Roberts said, “where looking at what Josh did for us in September and potentially how our ’pen would be constructed, and the value of a person who could go two or more innings, would be huge for us. I think if you look at stretching guys like (Brandon) Morrow out, (Josh) Fields is not really a two-inning guy – he’s maybe a one-plus. So to have Ravin be able to eat up six outs and pitch him in leverage spots is huge.“(Tuesday) was a big night for us, for him.”Ravin needed only 33 pitches to record nine outs.AlsoThe Texas Rangers had two evaluators in attendance in Oklahoma City to scout a game started by pitcher Walker Buehler on Wednesday. The Dodgers have expressed interest in Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish as Monday’s trade deadline approaches, and Buehler is regarded as the Dodgers’ best pitching prospect. … Outfielder Alex Verdugo, second baseman Willie Calhoun and one of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ top-10 prospects were also in the lineup for the game. … Roberts acknowledged the possibility that the Dodgers would add an extra bench player for the weekend series against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers played with a three-man bench for the third consecutive day Wednesday. … The probable starting pitchers for the Giants series: Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood will face Giants left-hander Matt Moore on Friday, Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill will face Giants left-hander Ty Blach on Saturday, and Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu will face Giants righty Matt Cain on Sunday.J.P. Hoornstra contributed to this story Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The fact that he has had none of the more severe symptoms that accompanied last year’s disc issue does give Kershaw, and the Dodgers, reason for optimism that he can “get back quick.”“It’s definitely not as painful this year,” he said. “Every-day life isn’t really affected right now, which is good. Last year, I couldn’t sit, couldn’t really bend in anyway. This one is not nearly like that, so I’m just trying to play that balance of wanting to do a lot but making sure I don’t make it worse before it heals. That’s where we’re at.”Kershaw is taking medication and doing physical therapy at this point with, again, no target date to begin baseball activities. Roberts said Kershaw has to be symptom-free before any of that can begin. Because this year’s back injury occurred a month later than last season, Kershaw could sit out the disputed four to six weeks and return in a similar time frame as last year when he made five starts before the postseason.“I’m thankful that our team looks like we’re in a pretty good spot to play in the postseason right now,” he said. “You obviously can’t take that for granted. It gives me something to shoot for I guess. I might not pitch as many starts as I’d like in the regular season. But I’d definitely like a few before October.”Having been through that experience a year ago, Kershaw acknowledged he knows how to plot his return this time. But he would not put any specifics on how many starts he felt would be necessary to prepare him for the postseason.
Ed Elsass, of Wellington, died on Monday, June 2, 2014 at his home in Wellington at the age of 50.Ed ElsassEd was born the son of Stew and Nancee (McGee) Elsass on Tuesday, June 25, 1963 in Wichita. His mother preceded him in death.On Friday, August 30, 1985, Ed and Carol (Lawless) were united in marriage in Mulvane. Together they celebrated 28 years of marriage.Ed was a corrections officer for the Sumner County Detention Center in Wellington.Â Survivors include his wife, Carol Elsass of Wellington; daughter, Shanonn Sharpe and her husband Tyler of Yukon, Oklahoma; son, Benjaminn Elsass and his wife Jeanette of Wellington; father and stepmother, Stew and Marilyn Elsass of Springfield, Missouri; sister, Susann Elsass of Florence, Alabama; stepsisters, Cathy DiFilippo and her husband Tony of Nixa, Missouri and Sarah Truitt of Springfield, Missouri.Memorial services for Ed will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the Church of Christ in Wellington.Memorials have been established in his loving memory to the Ed Elsass Memorial Fund, American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. Contributions may be mailed or left with the funeral home.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.dayfuneralhome.info.Arrangements are by Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington.
Lionel Messi, who put in a superb 64-minute performance, opened the scoring after just three minutes and when Ivan Rakitic doubled the lead soon after, the writing appeared to be on the wall for a sluggish Real Madrid side.Yet Zinedine Zidane’s side quickly woke from their slumber and by the end of the first half, goals from Mateo Kovacic and Marco Asensio had pulled them level.What followed was entertaining, often breathless friendly fare before Pique struck that decisive goal.This was nothing more than a pre-season match and obviously wasn’t going to affect the overall record between these two old rivals, which stands at 93 wins for Real, 91 for Barcelona — who had won their most recent meeting with Messi’s last-gasp winner — his 500th for the club.Madrid had the last laugh in May, winning La Liga and the Champions League, but actually arrived in Miami off the back of two exhibition defeats – a penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United before Manchester City also did a number on them in Los Angeles, running out 4-1 winners.Barca, meanwhile, had beaten United and Juventus in International Champions Cup friendly competition, but the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Neymar — and Paris Saint-Germain’s reported readiness to make a 218 million-euro move for him — has cast a serious cloud over their two-week stay in North America.The Brazilian started for Ernesto Valverde’s side and while the rest of his team-mates head home he will fly to China to perform commercial obligations on behalf of the club.Neymar (L) of Barcelona challenges Raphael Varane of Real Madrid during their International Champions Cup football match in Miami, Florida © AFP / HECTOR RETAMALValverde put off post-match questions about Neymar.“I always try to talk about things that happen rather than things that might happen,” he said. “We are going to wait. From my perspective, we have Neymar in our team, we count on him and we have to see.”On Saturday it was Neymar starting alongside Messi and Luis Suarez while Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema were all unleashed by Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.Neymar’s first involvement was to fall to the ground and clutch his ankle.For a moment it looked like his evening would be over before it began, though he was back on the pitch in time to see Messi open the scoring with just three minutes on the clock.The Argentine ace waltzed into the box and lifted a shot past Keylor Navas via a deflection off Raphael Varane.And it wasn’t long before Navas was picking the ball out of the back of the net once again.On six minutes, Neymar, gradually moving more freely, squared the ball and it found Rakitic, whose finish was clinically struck in the seventh minute.Real had barely escaped their own half and were lucky not to fall further behind on 13 minutes when Suarez fired over from close range.Yet with Madrid’s first effort on goal, Zidane’s side pulled one back.Croatian Kovacic evaded a challenge just outside the box before arrowing the ball past the outstretched hand of Jasper Cillessen.Suddenly, the game was on. Benzema, who’d barely had a sniff, dragged just wide on 19 minutes with Cillessen beaten.Navas remained the busier keeper, however, and was on hand to repel Messi once again on 31 minutes.It was a key save because in the 36th Asensio levelled for Madrid.Los Blancos were counter-attacking dangerously and it was left to Modric who squared for the Spaniard who took full advantage of Jordi Alba missing the ball to rifle past a horribly exposed Cillessen.– ‘Game of two faces’ –Although they came back from the early goals, Zidane was downbeat about his team’s performance. But he said there was plenty of time to get things right before Madrid take on Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup on August 8.“Today was a game of two faces for us, one bad, one better,” he said. “Ultimately we are preparing for the eighth — we will be ready.”Both teams retained their star men after the restart and it was Neymar whose pinpoint free-kick was steered home by Pique in the 50th.“We made a good start, generated some good opportunities,” Valverde said. “Overall, we did well trying to dominate the match.“I expect the best from Messi and all the players but he is extraordinary and we are aiming to win all the titles this season.”While the clash of the Spanish rivals was supposedly a friendly, Rakitic was lucky to escape a red card just after the hour mark when he appeared to push referee Jair Marrufo.Neymar departed on 72 minutes in what could have been his final performance in Barcelona colors.“I don’t want to speculate about Neymar,” Valverde said. “I see him in the same place I have seen him recently: on the pitch with us.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Gerard Pique of Barcelona scores a goal in the second half against Real Madrid during their International Champions Cup 2017 match in Miami Gardens, Florida © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / Mike EhrmannMIAMI, United States, Jul 30 – Gerard Pique delivered Barcelona’s match winner over Real Madrid on Saturday as El Clasico Miami lived up to the hype.The Spanish international steered in a Neymar free-kick in the 50th minute to seal a 3-2 win for the Catalan giants in front of 66,014 at the Hard Rock Stadium.