After injuring his lat muscle on February 17th, Chicago Cubs starter Matt Garza just started playing catch today, and might not be ready for Opening Day for the Cubs. *Of course* he might not be ready for Opening Day.
“This is the first step to being ready to start pitching,” he said of the throwing session. “The schedule isn’t for Opening Day, it isn’t for opening week. The schedule is when my body’s ready to go, and I’m not going to rush this thing.
"Shoot, I spent six months already rehabbing and getting back from an [elbow] injury last year. Time is definitely on my side right now."
“It’s obviously a huge deal [to avoid the DL],” Garza said, “but pitching April 1 and pitching April 15 – yeah, it’s three, four games, but if I pitch April 1, I might re-injure it in June and be out.
“But if I give it those other two weeks and take my time, maybe not. Maybe I’m pitching April 15 through October, maybe November."
Garza only made 18 starts last season, making his last start on July 21st before leaving with pain in his triceps muscle. Prior to that, Garza had made four straight 30 start seasons in the majors, and hadn't suffered any significant injuries. The 29-year old will be eligible for free agency after the season, and he was a prime candidate to be traded last season at the trade deadline. The triceps injury destroyed any chance of him being dealt last year, and the lat injury could cause him to miss a few starts this season. Remember, a strained lat is the same injury that kept Roy Halladay out for six weeks last season. At that timetable, Garza would be cutting it close in regards to being healthy on Opening Day.