Garza, who turns 29 on Nov. 26, was shut down after his July 21 start because of a stress reaction in his right elbow. He underwent a scan this week that revealed he was healing as expected, and he was cleared by team orthopedic specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo to resume his workouts.
Fans did their best, sending get-well wishes, and the right-hander tweeted his thanks.
Garza tweeted: "I'm still getting ready for February!! Slow and steady is gonna win this race! #can'twait"
In 18 starts, Garza was 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA. His return is needed as the Cubs head into the 2013 season with Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood healthy, and are counting on recently acquired right-hander Scott Baker, who is coming off Tommy John surgery. The Cubs are in the market for at least one more starting pitcher.
The Cubs also are monitoring third baseman Ian Stewart, who underwent left wrist surgery in June. He was limited to 55 games, and batted .201 before he was shut down.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.