After a scan of Matt Garza's elbow showed he was healing normally from his stress reaction injury, the Chicago Cubs right-hander was cleared by doctors to begin his offseason program.

The Cubs are hoping Garza is ready to go by spring training, which begins earlier than usual, on Feb. 9, due to the World Baseball Classic.

Garza obviously was happy with the news and sent out a tweet that read: "I'm cleared for takeoff!! Strap it on tight cause we are going on one helluva ride." He also added the hashtags 'getitdone,' 'freedom' and '2013.'

Where that ride will take Garza remains to be seen. He's eligible for free agency after the 2013 season and is expected to be shopped this summer, as he was at last July's trading deadline despite being shut down with the elbow soreness.

Garza was injured during a game in St. Louis on July 21 and missed the rest of the season. He finished with a 5-7 record and 3.91 earned-run average in 18 starts, and is arbitration-eligible after making $9.5 million in 2012.