Ryan Dempster feels good

WASHINGTON -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster said he felt good after his side session on Thursday, and he was optimistic about pitching on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Dempster has been suffering from hip and back soreness and spent Saturday night in the hospital getting tests and intravenous fluids. He missed his last start.

"As long as I feel good tomorrow, I don't see a reason why I can't pitch on Saturday," Dempster said after his side session on Thursday. "I got a bunch of fluids in me, and I feel good. Just loosen it up and get some stretching in there and hydrate as much as possible.

"It feels good, and I think I'll just miss the one start."

Cubs manager Mike Quade supported what Dempster said.

"Looks good for (Dempster)," Quade said Friday. "He's good to go. He feels good today. Hopefully he'll be very good.

"He felt so good (during his side session Thursday) and if he's physically OK I don't see why 100 pitches isn't in his grasp."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.