Manager Dale Sveum said Ryan Dempster was a "shoe-in" to represent the Cubs in the All-Star Game next month before the veteran wound up on the disabled list.
Dempster, who has been out since June 18 with a strained right lat muscle, will not return until after the All-Star break. However, the 35-year-old right-hander was progressing and planned to throw from 120 feet on flat ground Friday.
"Everything's been on schedule as far as what we're trying to do and the procress of him getting better each time he throws the ball," Sveum said. "There's no timetable for anything yet, but we'll monitor it and hopefully everything keeps going well...That will be big to see how he feels after 120 feet."
Dempster got off to a blazing hot start to the season with a 2.11 ERA and 1.03 WHIP and figures to be one of the Cubs' most coveted assets on the trade market, but the organization won't rush him back just to get a deal done.
"The earliest would be sometime right after the All-Star break," Sveum said. "We're still going to make sure everything's good and he holds up to whatever he can tolerate."
Randy Wells took Dempster's place in the rotation for the last two starts, but was designated for assignment after his start on Tuesday, leaving a hole in the Cubs' rotation.
"There are a couple options right now, but we'll probably finalize it today after the game," Sveum said Friday. "We have Coleman. It'll be Volstad's day to throw. Those are a couple of the options that we're just kind of weighing right now."
Volstad started the season in the Cubs' rotation, but carried a 7.46 ERA and 1.61 WHIP through eight starts. He was 0-6 and opposing batters were hitting .302 off him. He was sent down to Triple-A, where he has a 4.44 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in eight starts.
Wells began the year in Triple-A before joining the big-league bullpen in late May. He started two games in Dempster's absence, but walked eight batters in 6.2 innings and saw his ERA and WHIP rise to 5.34 and 2.06, respectively.
Coleman made 17 starts for the Cubs last season, but also boasts a 7.32 ERA after surrendering seven runs in 1.2 innings Wednesday against the Mets.
The Cubs don't need to make a decision with their rotation until Monday.