Prior, Wood throw off mound at Cubs spring camp

MESA, Ariz. -- Mark Prior and Kerry Wood threw Friday in their first appearances off a pitching mound at spring training this year.

Wood is recovering from arthroscopic shoulder surgery on Aug.
31, and the Cubs are going slowly with Prior in an attempt to avoid
elbow problems that bothered him the previous two springs.

"It felt a little awkward," said Prior, who went 11-7 with a
3.67 ERA last year. "But it was good to get up there and to start
working to try to get down there on a nice angle and see a guy with
a catcher's mitt and get after it."

Chicago says Prior will pitch in an exhibition game in early
March, perhaps the second time through the rotation. Pitching coach
Larry Rothschild said Prior is still in line to start during the
team's first regular-season series in Cincinnati.

"He looked OK, for where we are," Rothschild said. "He
finished up pretty strong. We'll pick it up there the next time."

Prior said he threw at about 50 percent exertion on the 20
pitches from the mound. Rothschild said Wood threw about 15 pitches
from the mound.

"He threw off the mound toward the end, really just to get him
up on the hill and get used to the slope again and get his balance
and things like that right," Rothschild said.