Prior back on disabled list with strained oblique

CHICAGO -- Cubs right-hander Mark Prior went back on the 15-day disabled list Friday, this time with a strained left oblique muscle.

He got hurt while taking batting practice last Saturday in Milwaukee. Prior, who began the season on the disabled list with a sore shoulder, came off it June 18 and went 0-4 in four starts with a 7.71 ERA. He was scratched from his start last Sunday.

How long will the Cubs be without Prior?

"We're not sure," manager Dusty Baker said. "He was better yesterday."

Prior is scheduled to throw in the bullpen Saturday and then again Tuesday. He was put on the DL retroactive to July 5, so he could come off next week.

"I wish it didn't come to that [DL] but that wasn't my decision," Prior said. "I just found out this morning. Of course, I argued against it. ... I'll work out and be ready to go whenever it is, Thursday or Friday."

The Cubs are also without Kerry Wood, who has a partially torn rotator cuff and is in the process of deciding whether to have surgery or try to rehab the injury.

"Kerry is going to see a few doctors. We always let the players decide who they'd like to see in this situation," general manager Jim Hendry said.

"So I think Kerry and his representatives and our medical staff are trying to do the best thing for him and let him have the opportunity to see a lot of people," Hendry said.

Right-hander Carlos Zambrano, who was hit in the elbow by the fungo bat of White Sox third base coach Joey Cora before the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, is OK and scheduled to make his start Saturday against the Mets.