This critical stage of the year is one where teams aim to minimize injury as they get ready for their playoffs games. For World Series hopefuls, they need to balance game performance with risk mitigation, and they also need to know when to bring back the players that have been on the injury list. Here are the latest returns from injury, including Clayton Kershaw for the Los Angeles Dodgers, along with one return for the Chicago Cubs.

Los Angeles Dodgers Confirm Clayton Kershaw Return

This is some of the best news to start the week with, and a great piece of confidence for anyone who is betting on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team have confirmed that Clayton Kershaw will be returning to the field as early as Friday. Kershaw hasn’t played since July, and he will be eager to get back to pitching, especially as he needs to get back up to speed after spending more than a month out of starting play. The Dodgers will be playing the San Diego Padres when Kershaw starts again. Even though the Dodgers haven’t exactly struggled without Kershaw, he’s still an important player to be able to bring back. It’s going to be able to make them that much stronger, and that will be essential considering that the team want to take themselves all the way to the World Series, this season.Kershaw has been off on a disabled list for ten days, although he hasn’t started since July. His lower back strain should hopefully not cause any further problems as the season progresses. Clayton Kershaw isn’t the only player who will be coming back to join the Dodgers. Cody Bellinger, another key member of their team, will return from a short stay on the disabled list after suffering a right ankle sprain. He hasn’t played since earlier this month, and he could be back before Kershaw, possibly as early as the 30th of August.Up until the past Sunday, the team had recorded 23 – 7 since the last time that Kershaw started. They’re one of the favorites for winning the World Series this year, and if they can get that far, it will be their first time appearing at the finals for almost 30 years. Kershaw is seen as an essential part of the team, and as a multiple Cy Young Award winner, he’s widely recognized as one of the best pitchers in the sport. If he can avoid any further injury, and as long as his time on the disabled list hasn’t eroded any of his performance, then he’s going to be the best starting pitcher to lead this team to a great playoffs result this year.Bellinger will also be a big boost. He adds hitting power to the Dodgers, and they’re already a team that is in the Top 6 on runs in the MLB, Top 10 in total home runs, and they’re in the Top 5 in slugging percentage. Bellinger is looking like he could even be named the Rookie of the Year in the NL.

Addison Russell Returns for the Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are another team that have the World Series in their sights. They’re the defending champions, and after the longest World Series drought in the history of the sport, they’re looking to get back to back wins.It looks like the team will be able to get all of their currently injured players back in the game, and Addison Russell has already been confirmed as returning to the game, but will first take some Minor League triple A games as part of his rehabilitation. Outside of the Minors, he could be back in the MLB as early as the end of this week. The news surround Addison Russell has been slightly confusing to some, and many believe that the stint in Minor League rehab could be more to do with the controversy that is surrounding the player.Russell is currently wrapped up in domestic violence allegations that were brought against him by a friend of his wife on social media. Russell is currently going through a divorce, but if there is basis to the accusations, then he could also be looking at consequences in his professional career. At this time, the probe into the accusation has been ongoing for over three months, and it’s not clear what is taking the MLB so long to clear Russell. Joe Maddon, manager of the Chicago Cubs, has told the media that the probe should not have any impact on Russell’s performance. He said that “I’m not getting that he’s being dragged down by anything right now. He seems fine to me. It does not seem to have an impact right now because we’re not hearing anything.”Russell’s personal management does not believe there is any basis behind the allegation, and expects that the MLB will eventually end their probe and clear Russell.

Teams Need All the Talent They Can Get for the Playoffs

Both the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers are real contenders for the World Series at the end of this season, and getting some of their key players back will help in their campaigns. While there’s no guarantee that there won’t be further injuries this year, it’s likely that teams will take the safe approach in terms of their rotations, especially as they’ll be able to bring in fresh players with the roster expansion in the coming weeks.