Wood to face hitters in simulated game

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians closer Kerry Wood, sidelined since spring training with a sore back, threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday.

"He looked great," Indians manager Manny Acta said.

Acta said Wood will face hitters in a simulated game next week when the Indians play in Minnesota.

Wood made two appearances in spring training before a muscle in his upper back started bothering him. It's likely the right-hander will go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment before being activated.

Wood is making $10.5 million in the last season of a two-year contract.