Kerry Wood out for 2011, may retire

Updated: September 19, 2011, 11:16 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood said he has a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season, and he said if the Cubs aren't interested in bringing him back next season he'll retire.

"I'm not going to play anywhere else," Wood said. "I'm hoping the Cubs want me back next season. My commitment is to the Cubs. And although I still want to pitch, if they don't want me back, then I'll retire."

The 34-year-old right-hander will have arthroscopic surgery after the season.

Wood suffered the injury while squatting in the bullpen on Saturday, but he said he was feeling discomfort in the knee all year long.

"It's a torn meniscus of the left knee," Wood said. "We'll do surgery right after the season and then six weeks later, we'll be ready to roll."

Wood finished the season 3-5 with a 3.35 ERA. He had one save in seven opportunities.

He signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Cubs before the season. He has spent 11 of his 13 big league seasons with Chicago, and played the previous two years in the American League.

Wood was drafted by Cubs in 1995 and made his debut in 1998. He struck out 20 batters in his fifth career start, becoming an instant fan favorite.

"If you're going to be a leader, you've got to perform. He's done a real good job of that," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Between his experience, his knowledge of the organization and his loyalty to it ... there's a lot of things that go into leadership."

Wood missed most of June with a blister on his right index finger but was otherwise effective, striking out 57 in 51 innings.

"I'm glad it happened now instead of getting through the season and going into spring and having something happen in spring and missing a month and a half," he said.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.