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Anibal Sanchez To Start Friday in Atlanta; Jorge Cantu Ailing with Stiff Neck

   As expected, Anibal Sanchez will come off the DL and start Friday in Atlanta just as a resounding 81 percent of you hoped he would in our poll. (The Marlins optioned right-hander Cristhian Martinez back to Double A Jacksonville).

    Sanchez hasn't pitched since June 2 but has looked good in his rehab outings in the minors. The Marlins desperately need him to pitch like the Sanchez of 2006 when he won 10 games as a rookie. His record since then: 5-10.

Just as the Marlins are getting Sanchez back to health, though, they're confronted with two significant injuries with their two corner infielders, Nick Johnson and Jorge Cantu. Johnson remains idle with a strained right hamstring that could prevent him from playing the entire Atlanta series and might land him on the DL if the thing doesn't improve by next week.

    Cantu is dealing with a sore neck, which he started noticing in about the seventh or eighth inning on Wednesday. The discomfort became so great during batting practice on Thursday that he had to abort the session. The Marlins replaced him in the lineup with Gaby Sanchez.

    Cantu said after Thursday's game that the neck was still bothering him, leaving his status for Friday and beyond uncertain.