As expected, Jon Lester will return from the injured list and start Thursday's game, the Cubs confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
Lester will get the ball in the series finale against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lester injured his left hamstring running the bases in the second inning of the Cubs' home opener on April 8. Prior to that, he turned in a quality start in each of his first two outings of the season.
The 35-year-old has been working out at Wrigley Field throughout the homestand, including a 45-pitch simulated game Saturday.
The Cubs jumbled their rotation over the weekend, starting Tyler Chatwood on Sunday even though Jose Quintana was on regular rest. Chatwood had a fantastic outing Sunday and Quintana followed Tuesday night with one of his best starts in a Cubs uniform.
Joe Maddon said Chatwood could possibly serve as a piggyback to Lester's start, as the Cubs are expecting about 75 pitches from the veteran southpaw Thursday.
"Realistically, I'd say 75 — almost like what we had set up for Chatwood the other day," Maddon said. "How he gets to that number - is it stressful? Is it not stressful? Does he have to leave the mound a lot on different plays? When he hits a double, how hard does he run to second base? Those kinds of things. We'll just monitor all of that. I'm saying 75-80 sounds like the right kind of number."
Cole Hamels threw Wednesday night and Lester will close out the series against a high-powered Dodgers offense that struggles a bit more against lefties than right-handers. Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish and Quintana will go in the three games in Arizona over the weekend.