Garza (lat) not worried about spring starts

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza says he's progressing since injuring his left side while throwing batting practice Sunday and isn't worried about spring games. He wants to be ready for the regular season.

"Right now, if I stay on my pace and stay patient and let it heal I'll be fine," Garza said Thursday. "I'll be ready. I'm not worried about the spring starts, I'm more concerned about being ready for the opening week."

Garza has a mild strain on his left lat and is supposed to be out about a week. He hasn't pitched in a major league game since July 21 due to a right elbow problem he encountered last season. He claims he was "ahead of pace" anyway so a break might not be a bad thing.

"I was ahead of schedule so it kind of balanced out a little bit," he said. "Like the doctor said 'time hasn't hurt anybody.' "

Asked about the potential to start on Opening Day, Garza said:

"I just want to get ready to throw. Spring starts, yeah, they matter. More concerned about opening week."

Garza lifted his left arm to show he's pain free on that side of the body.

"Some people say I shouldn't even be laughing," he said in regard to potential pain.