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gods-wrathChicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano has been out for a couple weeks now with lower back problems. He’s eligible to return from the disabled list today, but he’s, well, not returning.

Zambrano threw 45 times in the bullpen before yesterday’s rainout, and all went well. Zambrano reported no problems, and said he felt fine afterward. Right now, the plan is for him to make a rehab start for A ball Peoria on Thursday. If all goes well, he could return to the Cubs early next week.

As for that pesky back injury, Zambrano says he’s going to beat the thing, and he’s going to do it the old fashioned way: by sweatin’ to the oldies.

The large pitcher explained that the reason for his back problems is a weakness in his core, weakness in his abs.

“I’ve got to be honest with me and with you guys and the fans,” Zambrano said Sunday. “I’m 28 years old. I’m not 16 anymore. I’m a big guy. I work out hard every day. One of the things I don’t like to do is my abs, my core work. My problem is that I need to do more ab work. My abs will be stronger, and my back will be stronger.”

Perhaps we should start a collection to get Big Z an ab lounger, because he says the injury has nothing to do with his giant hacks in batting practice. It’s just abs, abs, abs.

“I don’t think [the injury is related to batting practice],” he said. “Like I said, my back right now depends on the abs. You all know that I have a flat stomach. I have a little fat here and little there.”

“I don’t have a big belly,” he continued. “I think I’m in pretty good shape. My problem is that I’ve been lazy, and I don’t like that I have been. I don’t like to do abs, but I will have to start doing my abs every day and be serious about my abs.”

If Zambrano does not have a big belly, then I can wash clothes on my stomach.

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