"He threw today and he was very encouraged with the way he felt today," Cubs athletic trainer Mark O'Neal said. "Right now, we're going into each start with question marks. We want to get a definite idea of how he's going to feel. We're going to backdate it and try to throw a couple pens, and get a significant throw between now and the end of the 15 days, and hopefully get him back."
Wood is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA in four starts since coming back from arthroscopic shoulder surgery in late August. His shoulder has been cranky, for lack of a better term.
"It's jeopardizing our bullpen for me to go out and try to battle through this," Wood said. "We can't have what I did the last time out happen, especially two out of three days and the bullpen gets hammered. It's not helping the team. We'll take some time and get it right."
"We've just been going into his last two starts with too many question marks," O'Neal said, "and we need to solidify that."
The Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Angel Guzman from Triple-A Iowa to take Wood's spot on the roster but rookie Carlos Marmol was expected to start Sunday in the series finale against the Cincinnati Reds. Sunday was Wood's next day to pitch.
Wood had trouble with his shoulder last season, and pitched in relief for the first time in his career. He was 3-3 with a 4.67 ERA in 10 starts, and then switched to the pen in August and was 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 relief appearances.
In hindsight, should he have had the surgery sooner than Aug. 31?
"It depends on who you ask," Wood said. "The decision we made last year at the time was the right decision in my mind and in our mind for what we were trying to accomplish, which was get to the postseason and win a championship. We made a decision to do what I could to help the team which was come out for an inning or two.
"I don't think it was a wrong decision," he said. "We made it and we live with it."
Cubs manager Dusty Baker had no regrets about the decision.
"Did you see how he was throwing [last year]? Didn't we have a shot still to get to the playoffs?" Baker said. "No, I have no second guessing."
Wood was examined this week by Dr. Tim Kremchek, who performed the surgery last August, and he assured the pitcher that the discomfort he's feeling is normal. When Wood played catch Friday, Wood said he felt great.
"We still need to come up with some definitive idea of how he's going to recover," O'Neal said.
"There are days when I've felt great and gone out and pitched and days when I didn't feel so great," Wood said. "It's been up and down and a little bit of a roller coaster. I'm having a down time now."