Dodgers activate Kershaw

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Updated: 5/06 2:43 pm

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw is set to make his first start in more than six weeks after the Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated the ace pitcher from the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game against the Washington Nationals.

Kershaw has been sidelined since late March with a strained muscle in his upper back. The All-Star left-hander sustained the injury shortly after pitching in the Dodgers' Mar. 22 season opener against Arizona in Sydney, Australia, causing him to be scratched from a scheduled outing at San Diego eight days later.

The 26-year-old pronounced himself ready to go for Tuesday's matchup after working a pair of five-inning minor league rehab starts, during which he allowed three runs -- two earned -- and struck out 15 batters.

Kershaw, who led the majors with a 1.83 ERA and topped the NL with 232 strikeouts to capture his second career Cy Young honor in 2013, won his season debut after holding the Diamondbacks to a run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings.

Tuesday's start will be Kershaw's second since signing a mammoth seven-year contract extension worth $215 million in January.

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