Mark Prior is a mess. His Achilles' tendon began bothering him last summer and resumed nagging him at the start of camp. The inflammation briefly subsided, long enough for him to begin building up arm strength. Then the Achilles' inflammation came back, causing the team to shut him down again. Now he has back spasms. Prior woke up on Saturday in pain because of spasms in his back and then went to get a second opinion on his Achilles' tendonitis, which is still bothering him. The right-hander has yet to pitch this spring and the Chicago Sun-Times reports it's hard to envision him pitching for the Cubs any earlier than May. The second opinion didn't reveal anything new. ''He said there's some inflammation," Prior told the paper. "There's a couple things it could be, but he didn't think they were. There have been cases where a little bone in there can break and you don't know it. He doesn't think that's the case."
Views: Even if Prior was 100 percent ready to begin preparation for the season tomorrow, he would still need close to a month to get ready to start a game for the Cubbies. Fantasy owners who drafted him should realistically plan to have him gathering dust on the bench for the first month of the season. If he sneaks in a game at the end of April, consider it gravy.