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Cubs' Dempster could be back by Sunday

The SportsXchange

Things could be changing rapidly with the Chicago Cubs' starting rotation.

Right-hander and No. 1 starter Ryan Dempster threw a bullpen session before the Cubs' 5-1 victory in Atlanta on Wednesday and reported good progress.

Dempster said he felt so good that he might like to start Sunday's series finale against the Mets at New York. Dempster has been on the disabled list since mid-June with right-lat soreness, and originally, he and the Cubs had said he wouldn't return until after the All-Star break.

"I think they want to wait until tomorrow (Thursday) and see how it feels, and then we'll have an idea and an answer," Dempster said. "It's easy to say yes today when you feel great throwing a side. We'll see how it feels tomorrow.

"I think they trust me to make the right decisions. I also don't want to go out there and have a 50-pitch limit, and that doesn't do us any good."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he would consider bringing back Dempster sooner, and for a couple of reasons. First, the Cubs could use Dempster, and they'd like to showcase him for a possible trade. Second, Sveum did not appear any too happy with right-hander Chris Volstad, who came up from the minor leagues to start Tuesday and turned in another poor performance.

Volstad fell to 0-7, and he let another big inning kill him. On top of that, the Cubs' staff seemed to feel Volstad deviated from the game plan and shook off catcher Steve Clevenger too much. Volstad didn't think so, but Sveum wasn't so sure.

"Whether he says so or not, I don't know if you want to call it communication, but there was a lot of shaking off going on," Sveum said. "We'll try to get to the bottom of it."
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