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03/15/10 3:58 PM ET

Plans change for Wood's return

Muscle soreness forces reliever to miss bullpen work

PHOENIX -- It could be something, it could be nothing. But the plans for Indians closer Kerry Wood, scratched from his scheduled appearance in a Cactus League game Saturday because of soreness in his right lat muscle, to go back to work have changed.

Wood was expected to throw a bullpen session Monday and appear against the Reds on Wednesday. That was the word from Wood himself, anyway.

But on Monday, manager Manny Acta announced that Wood did not throw that bullpen, and Acta did not offer a timetable for Wood's return to exhibition action.

"We're going to take it easy with Kerry," Acta said. "The medical staff will put together a plan for him. We want to be careful. He's our closer. He has plenty of time to get ready, and there's no reason to rush him back out there."

It bears repeating that this could simply be a little spring soreness that will go away with extra rest. That was the case when Wood experienced similar soreness early in camp last year.

But given Wood's lengthy and well-documented injury history, red flags immediately go up whenever he is unable to take the ball, as scheduled. To this point, Wood, who saved 20 games in 26 opportunities for the Tribe last year, has appeared in two Cactus games, working two scoreless innings.

In other injury news, left-hander Jeremy Sowers is expected to make his Cactus debut Thursday against the Reds, working two innings. Sowers has been counted out of the rotation race because of the left shoulder soreness that has him behind in camp. Because he is out of Minor League options, and the Indians value him as a potential starting alternative, it appears likely Sowers will open the season on the disabled list so that he can be sufficiently stretched out.

Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, nursing a strained left groin, is taking dry swings and is not expected to return to Cactus action until late this week, at the earliest.

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