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BettorsChat
04-18-2004, 05:58 AM
April 16, 2004
CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago Cubs right-hander Mark Prior threw 20 pitches off a mound Friday without pain, another step forward in his rehabilitation.

Prior doubled the number of throws from his first mound session Wednesday. He'll probably throw off a mound again Sunday or Monday.

``I wasn't airing it out,'' he said. ``I'm just trying to find the release point, trying to find my mechanics right now. It didn't hurt today. Hopefully it doesn't hurt tomorrow.''

It's still too early to set a timetable for his return, though. Prior has only thrown fastballs, and he said his body will be tested more when he starts throwing curveballs and breaking balls.

``I'll hopefully start moving in that direction Sunday, Monday, see how I respond to that and then go from there,'' he said.

Prior is on the disabled list with a sore Achilles' tendon and a tender right elbow. But he said Friday that the Achilles' injury was actually more his ankle. Bone scans showed problems in the ankle, and pain from that transferred to his Achilles', causing some inflammation.

The Cubs are hoping to have their 23-year-old star back by early to mid-May. But they're also being cautious with the right-hander, who was 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA last year and helped the Cubs reach the NL championship series.