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Cubs’ Ryan Dempster expects to return after All-Star break

Ryan Dempster delivers pitch against Reds Thursday. The Reds came from behind w4-3. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Ryan Dempster delivers a pitch against the Reds on Thursday. The Reds came from behind to win 4-3. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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Updated: June 29, 2012 1:58PM

Ryan Dempster won’t pitch again until after the All-Star break, but an exact timetable for the right-hander’s return still isn’t certain.

``The earliest obviously would be some time after the All-Star break, but we’re still going to make sure he’s built up to be ready,’ manager Dale Sveum said Friday.

``Every time has been on schedule on what we’re trying to do and the progress each time he throws and how he feels, but obviously there’s no timetable [on his return.] We’ll just keep monitoring.’’

Dempster said he feels no pain any longer from the soreness in his right lat that put him on the disabled list as of June 16.

``The inflammation is out. I’m pain fee. I just don’t know how I’ll feel throwing.

``But it won’t take long [to come back] once I get out there.’’

Dempster threw on flat ground Friday, his first activity in two days. Depending on how he felt, he might throw off a mound this weekend.

``It’s just day to day,’’ he said.

With Dempster out, the rotation will have as many as two dates he would have thrown before the July 9-12 All-Star break.

``We have a couple options, but we’ll finalize that after [Friday’s] game,’’ Sveum said.

Because of the off day Thursday, there is some flexibility. Sveum said Casey Coleman or Chris Volstad, now pitching at Class AAA Iowa, could be used.

``It would be Volstad’s day, so we have some options we’re weighing,’’ Sveum said.

Volstad threw seven innings Thursday against Oklahoma City, allowing two earned runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

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