Cubs watch, wait for Prior's recovery

CHICAGO -- Mark Prior tested his elbow in a 10-minute pregame throwing session Sunday and emerged
relatively pain-free.

Prior, forced out of his start last Thursday when he felt
discomfort in the elbow during the second inning, was originally
scheduled to pitch Tuesday against St. Louis.

The Cubs won't determine his status until Monday to see how he
rebounds from Sunday's workout. Prior declined comment.

"He let it go pretty good today and it was good to see him be
able to do that and not have it barking at him at all. We'll see
how he is tomorrow and go from there," Cubs pitching coach Larry
Rothschild said.

An 18-game winner last season, Prior missed the first two months
with a sore Achilles tendon and elbow before being activated June
4. He has a 2-2 record.

Tests taken Friday revealed no structural damage to the ligament
or nerve in his elbow, but he has irritation of the lining in the
bone of his elbow -- a condition likened to shin splints.

"I don't think it's going to totally disappear. I think it's
greatly diminished, similar to what we've dealt with off and on the
last few months, which isn't a lot but there is a little
stiffness," Rothschild said.

Rothschild said the Cubs would take every precaution to make
sure Prior doesn't change his delivery to compensate.

"First and foremost we're not going to do anything to hurt Mark
and make sure he's OK," Rothschild said.

If Prior doesn't make his start Tuesday, Glendon Rusch is
expected to get the nod.