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The Surest Sign Spring Is Just Around the Corner

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 19, 2007 1:37PM

2007_02_sports_kerry_wood_hottub.jpgWith all due respect to Punxsutawney Phil, there seems to be an even more reliable sign that spring is near -- the first Kerry Wood injury of the year.

The Cubs' pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training in Mesa, AZ last Wednesday and, much of the news coming out of camp surrounded Wood's trimmed down physique and move to the bullpen for the 2007 season. Was this the beginning of a new phase in the career of Kerry Wood, who's been more potential than production since joining the team in 1998?

Well, something never change... because it sure didn't take Wood long to injure himself. This time, the injury wasn't even related to anything on-field. Wood slipped getting out of a hot tub, bruising his ribs and forcing him to sit out the first days of practice. He finally took the mound for the first time on Saturday, throwing ten pitches.

Now that Wood's gotten his first injury of 2007 out of the way, it's only a matter of time before we get the first official "there's nothing wrong with Mark Prior, but he's not going to throw for the next week for no reason at all" declaration by Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Anyone want to guess the date and injury?