Matt Garza throws side session

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza threw from flat ground prior to Monday's game. It was the first time Garza had thrown since May 21 in Boston.

"Everything felt great," Garza said. "Obviously [I] won't be able to test [my arm] 100 percent until game time, but right now I feel great."

Garza was retroactively placed on the 15-day DL on May 18 with a right elbow contusion.

"It was a lot better, a ton better and I'm just gonna wait and see now," Garza said. "It's the best that [I've] felt in a while."

Manager Mike Quade said that if Garza feels good on Tuesday he would throw a side session from a mound on Wednesday. Garza would then be evaluated by the staff and a decision would be made as to when he would return to the rotation.

Garza is eligible to come off the DL on June 3. Quade said it was possible Garza could pitch in that weekend's series against the St. Louis Cardinals, but also said he didn't want to rush him back into action too quickly.

"When my name is on that board, I'll be ready to go," Garza said. "You can believe that."

Garza has posted a 3.72 ERA and is leading the NL with 10.99 strikeouts per nine innings. He is the third member of the Cubs' starting rotation to hit the disabled list this season. The Cubs' pitching staff is currently dead last in the NL with a 4.63 ERA.

Sahadev Sharma is a regular contributor to ESPNChicago.com.