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Wood gets cortisone shot

CINCINNATI -- Kerry Wood will miss at least one start after getting a cortisone shot Thursday in his aching right shoulder, which has forced him onto the disabled list once already this season.

Wood lasted only three innings in the Chicago Cubs' 9-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night, giving up three solo homers. His shoulder was stiff and his fastball subpar.

Wood was examined Thursday by Dr. Tim Kremchek, who consulted with a Cubs' doctor before giving the injection. Wood will rest the shoulder for a couple of days before seeing whether the cortisone gets rid of the inflammation and pain and allows him to keep pitching.

"It's frustrating, especially with the amount of time I've
missed," said Wood, who was on the disabled list from May 3 to
June 29 with a sore shoulder. "So we got the shot, went with a
little more aggressive treatment this time. We'll see if that will
take care of it."

Wood's latest problems are a huge setback for the Cubs, who had played themselves into contention for the NL wild card by winning
eight of nine before Wood's early exit.

The shoulder has bothered him all season. Bursitis limited him to three starts during spring training, and he was eventually forced onto the disabled list. Wood made four encouraging starts before the pain returned on Wednesday night.

"Warming up was fine, the first inning was fine," said Wood,
who didn't talk to reporters after the game. "I felt it again in
the second inning. I just couldn't get any better. It was just
gradual. You feel it on one pitch, don't feel it on the next one,
feel it on the next four pitches. It just wasn't right."

Trainer Mark O'Neal said doctors concluded Wood was having the same problem as earlier in the year.

"The exam was pretty consistent with what he's been feeling all
along," O'Neal said. "He's getting some irritation to the joint
from throwing. This is a pretty aggressive approach to try to quiet
it down. Hopefully it will respond well for him. We'll see where he
is probably Saturday or Sunday.

"We know what we're dealing with, and we're just trying to
quiet it down and get him through it."

Wood's fastball was erratic on Wednesday, when he gave up homers to Felipe Lopez, Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. Some of his fastballs were coming in at less than 90 mph, a sign something was wrong.

"I haven't pitched at 87 mph in a long time," he said. "I'm
trying to throw fastballs to Griffey and Dunn, and it's coming in
there at 87 mph and it's right down the middle of the plate. I
could pitch through that, but I don't think anyone wants to see
that."

Teammate Greg Maddux was encouraged that doctors concluded cortisone might fix Wood's problem.

"Those things are good," Maddux said. "Shots usually help
quickly. Hopefully he'll feel pretty good in about two or three
days. Who knows?"