Garza feeling better, may be ready for Opening Day

PHOENIX -- Matt Garza, sidelined one week because of a strained left lat, could start throwing this week and Cubs manager Dale Sveum feels the right-hander still has enough time left to be ready for the beginning of the season.

Garza ended his live batting practice session after 20 pitches because of soreness in his side on Feb. 17.

"Today, he said he felt really good," Sveum said on Monday. "It seems like every day he's getting better and better."

If Garza does start throwing this week, he would have about five weeks to build up innings for the season.

"Obviously, it'll be close but it looks like it probably can happen if he gets back tossing in the next few days or so," Sveum said.

Garza could still contend for the Opening Day assignment. Sveum said he'll most likely announce who gets the April 1 start by March 20, possibly sooner.

"If he's capable of tossing here in a few days then I don't see why he wouldn't be ready for Opening Day," Sveum said.