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Bone scan negative, but Cubs being cautious

CHICAGO -- Kerry Wood's right arm is structurally sound, a
bone scan showed Monday, but the Chicago Cubs' ace is still
expected to miss up to three weeks.

The test confirmed the original diagnosis of tendinitis in the
lower triceps muscle. There was no evidence of a stress fracture.

Wood was put on the disabled list last Thursday, retroactive to
May 12, and hoped to be able to pitch Friday in Pittsburgh. But he
was forced to cut a live batting practice session short Sunday
afternoon after feeling more discomfort.

Wood will rest for one week and then resume his throwing regimen.

The Cubs said they expect him to sidelined for 2½-to-3 weeks, pushing his return back to early June.

Wood left a start against the Dodgers on May 11 after two
innings because of soreness in the triceps, and has missed two
starts since. Initial tests, including an MRI, showed inflammation
in the triceps, but no tears.

Wood, 3-3 with a 2.82 ERA and 52 strikeouts, missed the entire
1999 season after elbow ligament replacement surgery, so the Cubs
are being overly cautious with their prized pitcher.

"We told Woody if he wasn't 100 percent at any time this week,
that we'll kick back and shut it down," general manager Jim Hendry
said Sunday.

Chicago began the day tied with Cincinnati for first place in
the NL Central. The Cubs have gone 25-18 despite having already had
nine players on the disabled list; the club record for a season is
16 in 1970.

Fellow ace Mark Prior has been on the disabled list all year
with an inflamed Achilles tendon and a sore elbow, though he'll
make his second rehab start at Class A Lansing on Tuesday night and
could return the first weekend in June.

Sammy Sosa is out with a strained ligament in his back brought
on by two sneezes.

The Cubs also are without second baseman Mark Grudzielanek
(Achilles' heel) and shortstop Alex Gonzalez (broken wrist).
Reliever Mike Remlinger (shoulder) returned Saturday, only to be
replaced on the disabled list by lefty Kent Mercker, who has a sore
lower back.