Cubs watch, wait for Prior's recovery

Updated: July 18, 2004, 4:02 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Mark Prior tested his elbow in a 10-minute pregame throwing session Sunday and emerged relatively pain-free.

Mark Prior

Prior, forced out of his start last Thursday when he felt discomfort in the elbow during the second inning, was originally scheduled to pitch Tuesday against St. Louis.

The Cubs won't determine his status until Monday to see how he rebounds from Sunday's workout. Prior declined comment.

"He let it go pretty good today and it was good to see him be able to do that and not have it barking at him at all. We'll see how he is tomorrow and go from there," Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild said.

An 18-game winner last season, Prior missed the first two months with a sore Achilles tendon and elbow before being activated June 4. He has a 2-2 record.

Tests taken Friday revealed no structural damage to the ligament or nerve in his elbow, but he has irritation of the lining in the bone of his elbow -- a condition likened to shin splints.

"I don't think it's going to totally disappear. I think it's greatly diminished, similar to what we've dealt with off and on the last few months, which isn't a lot but there is a little stiffness," Rothschild said.

Rothschild said the Cubs would take every precaution to make sure Prior doesn't change his delivery to compensate.

"First and foremost we're not going to do anything to hurt Mark and make sure he's OK," Rothschild said.

If Prior doesn't make his start Tuesday, Glendon Rusch is expected to get the nod.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press