Chicago Cubs starter Matt Garza will begin playing catch Thursday and appears resigned to missing the first two weeks of the regular season.
Manager Dale Sveum has said Garza still has enough time to be ready for opening week, but Garza said he has to “swallow my pride and put my team first” in his return.
“The schedule is not for opening day or opening week,” Garza said. “The schedule is when my body is ready. I’m not going to rush this thing. Shoot, I’ve spent six months already getting back from an injury last year. Time is definitely on my side right now.”

So starting out the first week isn’t a big deal?
“It’s obviously a huge deal,” he replied. “But pitching April 1 and pitching April 15, yeah it’s three or four games, but if I pitch April 1, I might reinjure it in June and be out. But if I get those other two weeks in and take my time, maybe I’m pitching April 15ththrough October or maybe November.”
Garza has been out since straining a side muscle near his left lat in his first batting practice session 11 days ago. The Cubs originally said he’d rest for about one week. Garza was up to 45 pitches before the injury, and said he’s not worried about building his arm strength back because he’s been doing arm exercises.
“I don’t think that’s going to be an issue,” he said. “It’s just the conditioning -- up and down, up and down ... The arm strength is not going to be an issue.”
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