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Josh Beckett on Clayton Kershaw: 'He Could Possibly Be the Best Pitcher Ever'

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"As good as you think he is, he's better than that," Josh Beckett said of Clayton Kershaw. "He could possibly be the best pitcher ever."

Beckett has had ample time to watch Kershaw from afar while recovering from surgery that treated his thoracic outlet syndrome on July 8 which required a removal of a rib.

"They cut the rib out of my spine," Beckett said. "That's where all of my pain was, in my upper back."

Beckett reported that he is ahead of schedule and will be ready to start a throwing program this week and hoped to start his normal offseason program in December. "I'm planning for Spring Training 2014."

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Although Beckett has missed a considerable chunk of the season, he doesn't feel any regrets or that he's missing out on anything.

"I'm genuinely happy for everybody: the fans, the ownership who put this thing together. It's an exciting time to be a Dodger fan, a Dodger player, a Dodger DL-guy, a Dodger owner. Even a Dodger writer, you guys should be excited."

Also on the mend is centerfielder Matt Kemp. Kemp was seen taking early batting practice alongside Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker.

"It sounds like he had a good day today," manager Don Mattingly said. "Stan [Conte, VP of medical services] said that he ran really well today. Soon we'll be talking about him running the bases within the next couple of days if he comes back good tomorrow."

The hope is to get Kemp into some rehab games before the Minor League teams wrap up their seasons.

"What I don't want to do is throw him back in," Mattingly said. "I want him to be sharp when he plays."