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Cubs’ Matt Garza goes on DL after MRI shows bone bruise

Updated: August 31, 2011 12:38AM

Cubs right-hander Matt Garza didn’t go quietly, but he did go on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday after an MRI exam on his sore elbow revealed a bone bruise — another blow to a starting rotation that ranks last in the majors in ERA.

‘‘I’m not happy going on the DL; I fought it,’’ said Garza, who despite a 2-4 record has been the Cubs’ best starter and ranks among the National League leaders in strikeouts. ‘‘It’s not like I chose to do it, but the team and everybody above me felt that’s the best thing to do, and I’m going to trust their advice and go with it.’’

Considering the area of the pain, the diagnosis ‘‘was the best news we could have hoped for,’’ said general manager Jim Hendry, who anticipates Garza will return on his first eligible day, June 3 at St. Louis. That would amount to only two missed starts.

Garza, who pitched through discomfort the last two weeks, wasn’t hit on the elbow and isn’t certain of the cause of the bone bruise. The Cubs’ medical staff believes the stress of power pitching might have led to a pitch creating the bruise and continued pitching aggravating it.

The Cubs said the MRI revealed no ligament or ulnar nerve damage, nor any other structural problems.

‘‘We’re just happy that it’s a bruise,’’ Garza said. ‘‘It could’ve been worse. I’m not happy, but it’s great news from what it could’ve been.’’

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