First, it was Mark Prior and his problems. Now it's Kerry Wood again.

Stop us if you've heard this one before.

The Cubs announced Thursday -- reluctantly -- that one-time ace Wood, scheduled to pitch out of the bullpen this year, won't throw for the next several days because of soreness in his triceps. This comes on the heels of news that former ace Prior, struggling to regain his velocity and command, probably won't make the team's five-man rotation coming out of spring training.

"Something came up," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Thursday afternoon in Mesa, declining further comment on the oft-injured Wood. "It's just a little, minor setback."

General manager Jim Hendry revealed, minutes later, that Wood has a strain near his elbow. The injury was thought to have occurred the last time Wood threw in a game, March 11. Hendry said Wood was striding too far on the mound at Ho Ho Kam Park, trying to avoid a hole in the pitching surface, and that put the additional strain on the arm.

"It's not in any area he was cut on," Hendry said. "I'm not anticipating any long-term difficulties." Wood has been limited to just 86 2/3 innings in the past two seasons.

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