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Billingsley maybe a month from return

LOS ANGELES – Chad Billingsley just might re-join the Dodgers rotation before Clayton Kershaw does.

Billingsley begins a minor-league rehab assignment Sunday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and said he has five starts planned. After that, the team might activate him from the disabled list. That could put him on track for a return right around May 6.

Billingsley had Tommy John surgery last April.

“I'm using this as a spring training, fine-tuning mechanics and working on my pitches. When I feel ready and they feel I'm ready, I'll be back,” Billingsley said. “Guys have this surgery all the time. Nothing new."

Some of Billingsley’s rehab starts will be in Rancho Cucamonga and others will be for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Kershaw is limited to playing light catch and is to be re-evaluated to see if he can begin a throwing program in about two weeks. Even if he’s cleared then, Kershaw likely would need a rehab assignment, too, and isn’t expected to return until mid-May at the earliest.