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Matt Garza injury update: Right-hander begins throwing program

Garza threw off a mound Monday for the first time since going down with an elbow problem in July.

Dilip Vishwanat

Chicago Cubs right–hander Matt Garza has taken the first big step in his recovery from elbow problems on Monday, throwing off the mound for the first time since being shut down in July, reports Carrie Muskat of MLB.com:

The offseason is going well for Matt Garza and Ian Stewart. Garza, shut down after 18 starts because of an elbow problem, started throwing on Monday, and happily announced his progress.

The Cubs pitcher tweeted: "1st day throwing the baseball! Felt great, #keepitslow! Looking forward to day#2 #GoCubsGo"

The 29–year-old was a hot commodity at the trade deadline until he was forced to leave a game mid-start in July because of elbow pain. While it seemed for some time that Garza might be headed for surgery, doctors determined that the injury was a stress reaction, not a tear, so opted for the rehab route.

A Super-Two player, Garza is arbitration-eligible for one more season before hitting the free agent market. The right-hander could prove to be a popular name again at next season’s trade deadline if he can remain healthy.

Garza owns a 3.84 ERA and 7.6 K/9 rate in seven big-league seasons with the Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, and Minnesota Twins.

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