Prior will throw simulated game

CHICAGO -- Cubs right-hander Mark Prior will skip his scheduled start Tuesday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals and instead throw a simulated game to test his tender elbow.

"I feel good and I would love to pitch tomorrow, but I think
given the circumstances they want to make sure that I'm healthy and
I can get through the course of a game so that we don't have the
situation that happened Thursday night," Prior said Monday.

In Chicago's game against Milwaukee on Thursday, Prior left in the second inning when he felt discomfort in his elbow.

He'd missed the first two months this season with a sore
Achilles tendon and right elbow. He's made eight starts since
coming off the disabled list June 4 and is 2-2.

Prior went through a series of tests Friday that revealed no
structural damage to his ligament or nerve. He's been diagnosed
with inflammation of the lining around the bone in his elbow.

Prior said he's satisfied with the answers he's gotten about his
condition, adding that the Cubs consulted with prominent orthopedic
surgeons Dr. Lewis Yocum and Dr. James Andrews.

"They talked to two of the best in the country in Yocum and
Andrews and they said it's uncommon, but they've seen it," Prior

"Basically what it is is inflammation of the bone, shin
splints, whatever you want to call it."

Prior said his arm felt good Monday after a 10-minute bullpen session Sunday. Now he'll throw the simulated game and will be evaluated after that.

"I'll play tomorrow like it's a real game. We'll go as many
innings as they want me to go or pitches or whatever. We'll play
like it's a real game and move from there. I don't plan on doing
anything differently," he said.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker said the team isn't ready to shut down Prior at this point.

"We've spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure it out
and what we've figured out at this point is nothing," Baker said.

"The doctors aren't convinced and nobody is convinced that
shutting down is going to alleviate whatever the problem is."