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Cubs schedule Matt Garza for MRI

MESA, Ariz. — Cubs pitcher Matt Garza, the Opening Day starting candidate, who suffered a left lat injury Sunday, is scheduled to have an MRI in the next day or two.

While the Cubs are optimistic the injury is “mild,” they’re bracing for the possibility that the often lingering nature of the injury could mean a delayed start to the season for a guy that spent the last two months of the 2012 season on the disabled list with an elbow injury.

``The good news is his arm feels really strong,’’ Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. ``He was throwing the ball really well. It’s unfortunate for sure, and it’s going to set him back a little bit. Our concern was obviously with the elbow injury that shut him down at the end of the year, and that still feels good. At this point it’s a little wait and see.’’

Given the nature of a lat injury and the fact Garza’s coming off another injury, that might not bode well for an on-time start to the season, regardless of the MRI result.

``We’re not going to rush him,’’ Hoyer said. ``They are lingering-type injuries. … That’s the challenge with these injuries. That’s why we need to figure out exactly the severity.

``You don’t want to bring a guy back too early and have him er-injuring it. So you do wind up being pretty patient with these. … Hopefully, this is the kind of injury that happens early and he has plenty of time to recover.’’



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