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Blister fine, so Cubs’ Jake Arrieta will start Opening Day

Jake Arrieta will start Opening Day. (AP)

MESA, Ariz. — Jake Arrieta’s bullpen session Sunday morning wiped out any concerns the Cubs had about his status for the start of the season. As he was before suffering a blister on his right thumb Thursday, the Cubs’ ace is scheduled to start Opening Day on April 4.

“There was no restriction whatsoever,” manager Joe Maddon said of his throwing session. “He felt great. nothing. It was like it never happened.”

Arrieta will start against the A’s on Tuesday. After getting light work Thursday, the Cubs might let him throw more pitches than usual against Oakland, but not too many.

“The one thing we’ve been trying to do is restrict what he’s been doing anyway,” Maddon said, “so maybe this is one of those built-ins you take advantage of.”

The healthy of the reigning National League Cy Young winner means the Cubs’ rotation is set. Jon Lester will start Game 2, followed by John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks. Reliever Trevor Cahill will stay stretched out as the emergency starter.

Maddon said he told the other starting candidates — Travis Wood, Adam Warren and Clayton Richard — that they will return to the bullpen.

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