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Matt Garza’s return this season unlikely

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts gives Chicago Sun-Times Chairman Michael Ferro his family tour Wrigley Field scoreboard during Chicago Cubs-HoustAstros

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts gives Chicago Sun-Times Chairman Michael Ferro and his family a tour of the Wrigley Field scoreboard during the Chicago Cubs-Houston Astros game August 14, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. From left are wife Jacky, Tom Ricketts, daughter Olivia, Michael and son Trey. | photo courtesy of Stephen Green

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Today

ASTROS AT CUBS

The facts: 1:20, Ch. 9, 720-AM.

The pitchers: Bud Norris (5-9, 4.93 ERA) vs. Justin Germano (1-2, 4.26).

Updated: September 16, 2012 6:23AM



Right-hander Matt Garza wants to come back before the end of the season, but the calendar is working against him.

‘‘It’s going to be unlikely, but it would probably take a lot of hard work and things to happen in the healing process,’’ manager Dale Sveum said Tuesday. ‘‘You run out of time for rehab starts [in the minors]. It would be tough, but some guys heal faster than others.’’

But the nature of Garza’s injury — a stress reaction in the back of his right elbow — is troublesome enough that he has been shut down since Aug. 10. Sveum said he’s more than a week from possibly resuming any throwing.

And Garza hasn’t been in a game since July 21, when he left his start after three innings with cramping in his triceps.

With fewer than 50 games left, Garza could only hope to get one or two starts in the most optimistic outlook.

‘‘We don’t know if we’ll risk it,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘You’d never risk something for, at the most, two starts.’’

Garza is scheduled to undergo another MRI on Sept. 1, which would leave little time for a throwing program or minor-league rehab because the season in the minors ends around Labor Day.

Tough beginning

Center fielder Brett Jackson has had a rough start to his major-league career, striking out 14 times in his first 24 at-bats. But Jackson and third baseman Josh Vitters (2-for-20 to start) are here to get extended looks in the rebuilding era.

‘‘We committed to watching [Jackson’s] development here, and I think six starts isn’t that much of an evaluation,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘He’s going to get a lot more opportunities.’’

Sveum, a former hitting coach, said there are things both players can work on.

‘‘We’ve just got to get the body calmed down a little bit and the head working correctly, too,’’ he said.

Moving up

Promoted from Mesa rookie ball, where he had a 10-game hitting streak, first-round draft pick Albert Almora heads to Class A Boise on Wednesday.



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