It seems like every year about this time, we learn of a new injury for Kerry Wood. Though the Chicago Cubs claim that Mark Prior and Wade Miller did successfully throw off of a mound in Fitch Park on Thursday, the team reports that Kerry Wood will be sidelined four to five days after bruising his rib, while exiting his hot tub earlier in the week.
This is what is troubling to me:
According to the report, Wood suffered the injury on Monday (three days ago) and will be out another four to five days. That means that it will take an entire week for bruised rib to heal. Understandable, but why have the Cubs waited until now to inform the public?
In the past, the Cubs have been notorious for underestimating the length of recovery time for pitchers. Severely. I still remember three years ago when a five-to-ten day sideline for Mark Prior slowly turned into two weeks, then a month, then eventually three months.
I just want the club to be straight with me. What is wrong with Kerry Wood? Is he suffering all of these injuries from steriods and the team is having a hard time covering them up with lame excuses? After they've run out of legitimate excuses for long-term absences, has the team resorted to short-term excuses that progressively get longer? And when they finally ran out of those, is the team now reporting injuries that "happened" several days ago, so that they can artificially increase the recovery time? At this point, I wouldn't put it past them.
Right now, Kerry Wood doesn't concern me much. I didn't slate him to play any significant part on the team in 2007. Ryan Dempster is the closer and the rest of the bullpen looks just fine with Howry, Eyre, and Ohman. I just won't be surprised to hear in a couple of more days from now that "complications" arose from his injuries and that he would just need "a little more time" before he starts throwing. Kind of like when Wood said last year that he wasn't hurt, but was going on the disabled list anyway...
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that Mark Prior doesn't sleepwalk into a mirror, sneeze too hard, or get hit by a comebacker in the next six weeks. Or six months, or six years. We need Prior for the rotation.