Zambrano: 'I've been lazy'

Chicago Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, who has been on the disabled list for the last week and a half with back spasms, broke his media silence before Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and admitted that he has been lackadaisical when it comes to his workout regimen.

"My problem is I've been lazy," Zambrano said. "There are things in life that you don't like but you have to do. I don't like to do abs, but I will have to start doing my abs every day and be serious about my abs."

The admission is sure to raise some eyebrows around town. Zambrano is being paid almost $100 million to be the Cubs' ace, and he hasn't pitched like one throughout most of the season while battling various injuries.

Zambrano is convinced that the lack of work on his abs has caused the back problems he is experiencing, although he said he is feeling much better already. He threw a side session earlier Sunday in which he reported feeling no pain. He is expected to throw during another session on Tuesday before making a rehab appearance Thursday night in Peoria.

If all goes according to plan, Zambrano should be back on the hill Aug. 25 when the Cubs face the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field. In the meantime, he seems intent on getting his core muscles back in shape.

"If I keep doing abs every day and [keep] doing my job and be serious in my job about abs, I'll be OK," Zambrano said.

Jason Belenke contributed to this report.