Kerry Wood nearing return

Updated: June 29, 2011, 8:25 PM ET
By Sahadev Sharma | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs reliever Kerry Wood threw a simulated game prior to Wednesday's game against the San Francisco Giants and could return for this weekend's series against the Chicago White Sox.

Wood, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 9 with a blister on his right index finger, threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Monday. He is eligible to come off the DL when he's ready.

"Watched Woody throw today, liked what I saw," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Hopefully in the next 24 hours, physically his finger will come out of that OK and he'll be all right. That looks imminent, which is great."

Wood has been the Cubs' primary right-handed setup man for closer Carlos Marmol this season. During his absence the team has turned to Jeff Samardzija and rookie Chris Carpenter to try to fill Wood's role.

Sahadev Sharma is a special contributor to ESPNChicago.com.

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