Mesa, AZ (Sports Network) - Chicago Cubs righthander Kerry Wood is expected to miss the 2005 season-opening series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to The Chicago Tribune.
The righthander is hampered with shoulder problems and could possibly pitch a simulated game this weekend. If Wood proves his arm is strong enough for live action, he may toe the rubber next week in Cactus League play.
Cubs manager Dusty Baker told the newspaper the Cubs are not going to rush their ace and doubted that Wood would be ready for the D'backs on April 4.
Wood posted an 8-9 record with a 3.72 earned run average in 22 games last season. The 27-year-old is 67-50 in 164 career games with a 3.63 ERA and 1,209 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Chicago could also be without their No. 2 hurler in Mark Prior. Prior is recovering from right elbow inflammation and may not be ready for the season-opening series in Phoenix, AZ.
Prior, 24, finished last season with a 6-4 mark and a 4.02 ERA in 21 games. In 70 career contests, Prior owns a 30-16 record with a 3.08 earned run average and 531 strikeouts.