Wood healing, but not ready for action

Wood healing, but not ready for action

HOUSTON -- The blister on his right index finger that kept Kerry Wood out of the All-Star Game was better Friday, but the Cubs' closer apparently isn't 100 percent.

"He's a lot better," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said when asked about Wood before Friday night's game against Houston at Minute Maid Park.

When asked if Wood was available to pitch against the Astros, Piniella smiled and said: "He's a lot better. That's about as far as I'm going to go."

Wood participated in pregame drills and had a bullpen session on Thursday. But he politely declined an interview request from MLB.com.

Wood, who has converted 24 of 29 save opportunities, has been bothered by the blister for three weeks.

"I'm sure he could go if he has to, that was the plan," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "Obviously if it's not 100 percent, then if we could give him another day or two, maybe we'll try to. It's not something I don't think is going to keep him out."

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.