Cubs’ Garza has mild back strain

Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza suffered a mild back strain

on his left side while throwing batting practice to teammates

Sunday and is expected to miss at least a few days of practice.

Whether it will delay his start to the regular season, team

officials said they would know more about his prognosis after he is

examined again Monday.

”It looks like a mild lat strain,” manager Dale Sveum said.

”We’ll see what happens when he wakes up and see where we are a

little bit more (Monday). But it’s subsided, and he seems to be

doing a lot better now.”

Garza got halfway through his throwing schedule when he felt a

twinge and left the field with the trainer.

”The ball felt good coming out of my hand. I think that’s what

I’m most upset about,” said Garza, who was considered a candidate

to be the Cubs’ opening day starter. ”But it shouldn’t be a big

thing, and we’ll see (Monday).”

Garza hasn’t pitched in a game since July 21, when he left a

start in St. Louis because of a ”stress reaction” in his pitching

elbow.

He has looked impressive the first week of spring training.

”Hopefully, it’s really nothing and he doesn’t even get really

set back as far as opening day, and if not, then we’ll have to

obviously evaluate the (timetable),” Sveum said. ”We have the

depth. It’s not that big a deal that way. It’s just too early to

know what plan we’re going to take.”

With six weeks left before the season opens, Garza said he

doesn’t think he’ll miss any time.

”They tell me good things, and I look forward to (Monday) and

see what’s going on.”