Dempster targeting Sunday for return to mound

Dempster targeting Sunday for return to mound

Dempster targeting Sunday for return to mound
ATLANTA -- The Cubs' Ryan Dempster doesn't want to wait until after the All-Star break to pitch. He may be ready to go Sunday.

After throwing his second bullpen session since going on the disabled list June 16, Dempster said Wednesday he might be ready for the series finale against the Mets, which is the Cubs' last game before the break.

"I think they want to wait until [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."

He's been sidelined with a sore right lat and says he feels as if he has his full range of motion and strength back.

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

It seems a little rushed, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't dismiss the idea.

"I know he's serious [about it], and we'll give it some thought," Sveum said. "Today's session went great, and we'll probably evaluate him [Thursday] and Friday and make a decision on Friday and see how everything goes the next couple days."

It's been a fairly quick rehab. On Monday, Dempster threw 40 pitches in the bullpen and another 50 on flat ground.

"Not everybody's Ryan Dempster either," Sveum said. "He's so in tune with his mechanics and his arm and how he feels, it's at the point where it's not like we'd leave him out there for 110 pitches. He's feeling as good as he ever does. That's the kicker to it -- how good he feels."

Wouldn't Dempster need at least a simulated game to face hitters?

"I've faced them before," he deadpanned. "I'm hoping they haven't changed too much in the last couple weeks."