Sveum hopeful Garza to be ready for opener

Matt Garza is expected to resume throwing this week after missing time with a strained lat. AP Photo/Morry Gash

MESA, Ariz. -- Opening Day for the Chicago Cubs is five weeks away and manager Dale Sveum is hopeful injured pitcher Matt Garza will be ready.

"We don't like to project anything right now until we know when he's going to get out and toss," Sveum said before the Cubs played the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. "If that goes OK then we just move forward with the normal progression of a spring training. If he's capable of tossing in a few days I don't see why he wouldn't be ready for Opening Day."

Garza injured himself in a live batting practice session on Feb. 17. An MRI the next day showed a mild strain of his left lat.

"(Monday) he said he felt really good," Sveum said. "Better than yesterday. It seems like every day he's getting better and better, can't put a timetable on it, but looks like he might be throwing here in a few days if everything is going good."

On Sunday Garza said he was pain free but still "felt something there" so doctors told him to wait until he doesn't feel anything before throwing. He missed the second half of last season due to an elbow problem but started spring training on pace to start the regular season.

Sveum reiterated Opening Day isn't out of the question, but Garza has to be throwing soon.

"It would be close, but it looks like it could probably happen," Sveum said.