Cubs starter Matt Garza recently received clearance from his doctors to begin throwing as he continues his rehabilitation from a right elbow stress reaction that sidelined him for the last 11 weeks of the 2012 season.
Garza called the injury the toughest thing he has had to deal with in his career but told me Friday that he feels great and he plans to be ready for Opening Day.
CUBS: 12 defining moments in 2012
"If spring training started tomorrow, I would be ready to go," he said. "I'm not ready to pitch six innings today, but I will be ready to go when the season starts. I will be ready to go Opening Day, that's guaranteed."
Garza has resumed throwing and he reported no issues with his elbow and he appears to be back on track to compete for the top spot in Dale Sveum's starting rotation when the Cubs break camp in April.
Now the question is -- will he still be there when the trading deadline comes and goes at the end of July?
Tune in to CSN at 6 p.m. for a postseason edition of Cubs Postseason Live as our crew gets ready for Game 6 of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Be sure to flip over to CSN immediately after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postseason Live.
Saturday's starting pitching matchup: Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.72 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 3.00 ERA)
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Latest on the Cubs: All of the most recent news and notes.
— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Cubs Pulse.
David Kaplan is joined by Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Bernfield (670 The Score).
The panel dissects another big Cubs win in the NLCS and sizes up the Northsiders' chances against Clayton Kershaw in Game 6.
Later, Jamal Mayers has the latest on the Blackhawks and Jay Cutler may be back as the Bears' starting quarterback.
Check out the full SportsTalk Live Podcast here: