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posted: 4/18/2012 9:39 PM

Cubs hope for Wood to return Friday

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  • Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood could return by Friday's home game against the Cincinnati Reds.

      Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood could return by Friday's home game against the Cincinnati Reds.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer


MIAMI -- Reliever Kerry Wood received a cortisone injection in his right shoulder Wednesday, and the Cubs remain hopeful Wood can return by Friday's game at home against the Reds.

"It went well," manager Dale Sveum said. "He said he already felt relief from it, so that's good. Hopefully, he'll be ready to go on Friday."

If Wood's condition lingers much past Friday, the Cubs will have to consider putting him on the disabled list and calling up a pitcher from Class AAA Iowa.

Rafael Dolis has moved up the ladder from the right side of the bullpen. James Russell is the lone lefty, and he's off to a good start.

Byrd getting there?

Center fielder Marlon Byrd went 1-for-3 and is now batting .081 (3-for-37) on the season. So far, he remains the team's regular center fielder.

"I thought he swung the bat a lot better in early batting practice," Dale Sveum said. "Hopefully, there was some adjustments made. But I thought he was much more aggressive. Even his swings yesterday (Tuesday night), I thought were much more aggressive and not so defensive. But we've got to him going. We've got to get him swinging the bat. That's a big part of our lineup. He's been playing a really nice center field. He's playing hard, he's battling and he's working his butt off."

Sveum added that he would "see what happens over 100 or so at-bats."

Castro streaking:

Shortstop Starlin Castro extended a hitting streak to six games. He's 11-for-25 (. 440) over that time.

In addition, Castro has 7 stolen bases. He is one of only 10 Cubs with at least 7 steals in April going back to 1921, when such records became available. The Cubs record for stolen bases in April is 12, set by Brian McRae in 1996. Only three Cubs have had 8 or more steals in April: McRae, Chico Walker (9 in 1987) and Juan Pierre (8 in 2006).

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