Sore shoulder sidelines Cubs' Lee; Prior to visit doctor

Updated: March 15, 2006, 4:11 PM ET
Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee won't play for the United States in Thursday's World Baseball Classic game against Mexico because of a sore left shoulder.

Mark Prior
Prior
Derrek Lee
Lee

Lee, last season's National League batting champion, bruised his shoulder Sunday diving for a foul pop fly in a 4-3 victory over Japan in Anaheim, Calif.

The Cubs sent Lee to Dr. Lewis Yocum, a specialist in Los Angeles, who performed an MRI and arthrogram Tuesday. Cubs team trainer Mark O'Neal said Wednesday that Lee has the same injury that kept him out of three games in July last year.

"He has some wear and tear in his left shoulder. He obviously irritated it again on that dive the other night against Japan," O'Neal said.

There is no immediate need for Lee to have surgery, and he'll be ready to play for the Cubs once the United States is finished playing in the WBC, O'Neal said.

Also at Cubs camp, right-hander Mark Prior was set to visit Yocum on Wednesday for tests on his right shoulder after cutting short his throwing session Tuesday, complaining of pain in the back of the shoulder.

Prior has yet to pitch in a spring training game. The Cubs have kept him on a slow pace in an effort to avoid the elbow problems that have limited Prior to one spring training appearance the previous two years, and he started 2004 and 2005 on the disabled list.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press