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Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) ready

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers cleared pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu to pitch Game 3 of their NL Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, a day after Ryu threw a three-inning simulated game at Dodger Stadium.

It will be Ryu's first time on a mound in a major-league game since he left his Sept. 12 start in San Francisco with a sore left shoulder.

Ryu has twice had to miss starts this season with shoulder irritation. This time, he received a cortisone injection to help bring down the inflammation.

"I'd say it feels a little different than the last time," Ryu said through an interpreter. "In fact, I feel much better than the last time this injury happened."

Ace Clayton Kershaw will pitch Friday, followed by Zack Greinke, Ryu and maybe Dan Haren. Haren is aware he might get skipped if the Dodgers elect to bring back Kershaw on three days' rest to pitch Game 4, as they did against the Atlanta Braves while up two games to one last October.

Haren threw a bullpen session Wednesday in anticipation of making a Tuesday start in St. Louis, but said he realizes he might be asked to pitch out of the bullpen, if at all, in this series. He also could be rushed into action if Ryu feels soreness in his shoulder again Monday.

"Hopefully, Ryu comes through Game 3, but I'll prepare in case something happens," Haren said. "I know Game 4 is up in the air. Nothing has been said yet to me or you guys. I have to be ready for whatever. I've just got to try to help any way I can."

The Cardinals, who beat the Dodgers in six games of the last NLCS, are going with a four-man rotation of Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Shelby Miller.