Matt Garza Injury: Updates on Cubs Star's Lat Strain

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2013

The Chicago Cubs might be in for another long season, as it appears pitcher Matt Garza will miss some time due to a lat injury.

According to Carrie Muskat of, Garza will miss the first month of the regular season:

The 29-year-old veteran was one of the team's most consistent starters over the past two years. In 49 starts, he posted a 15-17 record with a 3.52 ERA and 293 strikeouts.

Unfortunately, an elbow issue ended his season last year in late July. Now, it appears that a different issue will keep the pitcher off the mound once again.

Chicago already faced struggles in filling a rotation. The team traded Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm last year as it slumped to a 61-101 record.

There were higher hopes this year with an improving Jeff Samardzija and the addition of Edwin Jackson to follow Garza at the top of the rotation. With the ace sidelined for at least a little while, Travis Wood and Scott Feldman will likely be expected to produce much more in his absence.

Additionally, there is little experience at the top. Muskat reports that Samardzija will get the start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day:

The issue is that Samardzija has only been a full-time starter for one season and has been slightly above average, posting a 3.81 ERA in 2012. This is not the type of player to inspire the team with confidence as the ace of a staff.

All over the field, the Cubs have to deal with question marks heading into the season. Garza was one of the few sure things on the roster.

That is no longer the case, as he will be out for at least a couple of months. Hopefully for the Cubs, he will be able to return to action sooner rather than later.