MESA, Ariz. - The Cubs are bracing for the possibility that right-hander Matt Garza could open the season on the disabled list, based on the often-lingering nature of the kind lat injury he suffered during a throwing session Sunday.
Garza is expected to have an MRI in the next day or so, and the Cubs remain optimistic that the strain to his left lat isn't serious.
But even though Garza has six weeks to get ready for his first regular-season start, the fact he's coming off an elbow injury that sidelined him the final two months of last season is just one more reason the Cubs say they'll take a cautious, deliberate approach to his recovery.
``We're not going to rush this guy, that's for sure,'' general manager Jed Hoyer said. ``The good news is his arm feels really strong. He was throwing the ball really well. It's unfortunate for sure, and it's going to set him back a little bit. Our concern was obviously with the elbow injury that shut him down at the end of the year, and that still feels good. At this point it's a little wait and see.''
Former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster had a similar lat injury last season and missed three weeks on the disabled list.
``They are lingering-type injuries,'' Hoyer said. ``That's the challenge with these injuries. That's why we need to figure out exactly the severity.
``You don't want to bring a guy back too early and have him re-injure it. So you do end up being pretty patient with these. ... Hopefully, this is the kind of injury that happens early and he has plenty of time to recover.''