Matt Garza has had a rough go of it the past nine months, but the veteran now appears to be on the road back.
[RELATED: Garza gearing up for his return]
After a stress reaction in his elbow last July that caused him to miss the rest of the 2012 season, Garza strained a lat muscle on his left side in February during the Cubs' first full-squad workout.
His rehab was then slowed by the standard "dead arm" period pitchers usually experience in spring training, pushing back his recovery process.
[MORE: Cubs downplay concerns about Garza]
Garza made his first appearance for Double-A Tennessee Wednesday, throwing 42 pitches in 2 2/3 innings. He allowed one run on one hit and two walks while his fastball was clocked at 87-90 mph, according to the Smokies Radio Network.
Garza only needed seven pitches to get through the first inning, setting the Mississippi Braves down in order. He got into some trouble in the second, walking the first two batters of the inning. After a double-play ball, Garza surrendered an RBI single before the inning concluded with a groundout.
The veteran righty only faced two batters in the third -- retiring both on groundouts -- and was removed from the game after nearing his 45-pitch limit.
Garza, 29, is in the last year of arbitration and the Cubs will need to make a decision regarding his future.
As CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney reported late last week, Garza will need two or three more starts in the minors before he could make a return to the big-league club.