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Monday, May 17, 2004
Sneeze triggers spasms before game

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Sammy Sosa felt a bit sheepish while explaining why he wasn't able to play Sunday against the Padres.

Wood, Prior throwing at own pace
CHICAGO -- Cubs right-hander Kerry Wood threw off flat ground, and Mark Prior pitched a regular side session at Wrigley Field on Monday.

Wood missed his scheduled start Sunday after feeling tightness in his right triceps. Tests showed inflammation but no tears, and the Cubs are hoping he won't have to miss more than the one start. He'll throw off flat ground again Tuesday.

Prior, on the disabled list since the start of the season because of an inflamed Achilles tendon and sore elbow, is on track to return in June. He pitched two innings Saturday during an extended spring training game in Mesa, Ariz., and could go to Class A Lansing on Thursday for a rehab start.
-- Associated Press

Sosa sneezed twice shortly after arriving in the clubhouse before the game, which brought on back spasms and forced him to grab a chair to support himself. While his Cubs teammates were out beating the Padres 4-2 for a three-game sweep, Sosa spent the afternoon in the trainer's room receiving treatment.

"It would have been better if I had hit off the wall or we have a fight or something, but this ... you know what I mean?" Sosa said. "What can you do? Some things in life you cannot control. This is strange that it happened."

The Cubs are off Monday before opening a homestand Tuesday.

"I don't feel too good," Sosa said. "If I'm ready, I'm going to play. If I'm not ready, I'm not going to play. Whenever I feel 100 percent, I'll be back.

"Something you never expect to happen, happens. We're only human. The only thing you can do is just sit back and relax and wait. You're talking about the back."

Sosa, who has 10 homers this season, homered Friday and Saturday to move past Mike Schmidt and take sole possession of ninth place on the career list with 549.