Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs' Garza expects to avoid DL

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MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs right-hander Matt Garza says he's in good spirits, and more important to him, he's confident he can be fully recovered in time to open the season on time.

``I'm not worried about spring starts, I'm more concerned about being ready for opening week, Opening Day,'' said Garza, who suffered a "mild strain" in his left lat while throwing batting practice to teammates Sunday.

``Right now if I stay on my pace and stay patient and just let it heal, I'll be fine. I'll be ready.''

Garza isn't expected to start throwing in practice again until next week as he gets treatment and rests the injury. That assures he'll miss at least one scheduled spring start.

But he's already feeling much better, and unintentionally proved it by throwing a towel across the clubhouse into a bin left-handed.

And the Cactus League delay shouldn't prevent him from being ready on time to still be in the Opening Day mix, he said, and it might even be a positive considering he was already ahead of schedule with his throwing program after a winter of recuperation and strength-building following last year's elbow injury.

``Obviously, it didn't feel like that at the time, but maybe that's what it was,'' he said. ``Maybe I came out too strong, too fast and this is just kind of a way to slow down. So it is what it is, and now just kind of get back to work.''

The fact spring training is about a week longer than usual this year also plays into his favor.

``That's even better,'' he said. ``Like Doc [Stephen] Adams says, time doesn't hurt anybody, so relax and enjoy it a little bit because it'll probably be your last time off.''

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on February 21, 2013 10:30 AM.

Let the hype begin: Cubs' prospects Soler, Baez on tap was the previous entry in this blog.

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