GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff told the media this morning that closer Kerry Wood will miss six to eight weeks with a strained muscle in his back.
Wood, who last pitched on March 10, has had problems with the latissimus dorsi muscle before. But in past years, the soreness in the large muscle in his back, below the shoulder, would invariably subside before the start of the season.
Not this time.
""This is an area where he's experienced soreness before in spring training,'' Soloff said. ""But after the fourth and fifth day (following his March 10 outing), symptoms had not been resolved. An MRI revealed the strain.''
Rest and rehab will take care of the problem, according to Soloff. In the meantime, designated setup man, Chris Perez, will take over Wood's duties as closer.
Wood will spend the next three days reducing the inflammation and soreness. He will begin conditioning his lower body on Monday and start playing catch in less than two weeks.
""This is disappointing, but we don't usually go through spring training without some challenging news,'' General Manager Mark Shapiro said. ""We'll get through this.''
In other news, three more players were sent back to the minor-league complex: third/first baseman Wes Hodges and middle infielder Jason Donald was assigned to Columbus; third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall will be assigned to a team later.