Kerry Wood Still Recovering From Blister – Regrets Spending All That Time on the Monkey Bars
July 19, 2008
(Houston, TX) – The Cubs consider themselves refreshed after a long All Star break, and were ready to head to Houston to take on the Astros for their first weekend tilt in the second half. But not all of the Cubs were as refreshed as they needed to be to play. Unfortunately, Cubs closer Kerry Wood is going to be unavailable this weekend as he continues to recover from a nasty blister on his throwing hand.
With the Cubs trying to win their first World Series in one hundred years, Cub fans wonder just how such an important player injured his hand so badly that he’s had to sit out for weeks. Is it because of his devastating curveball? Or the pressure he puts on the ball just before he throws a 97 mph heater high and tight?
No, Wood says. It’s the damn monkey bars.
Wood, always a kid at heart, says he has been dealing with an irresistible addiction to the monkey bars since grade school.
“What can I say? They just do it for me,” Wood explained. “Swinging on them, going across them as fast as you can, skipping bars. They’re just so exciting. But, like any mistress, sometimes they come back to bite you.”
Wood says that teammate and fellow babyface pitcher Sean Marshall goaded him into a challenge he couldn’t refuse. “Well, Marshall is always acting like a tough guy, and he thinks he’s so much better than me. He said I couldn’t hang on the bars, one-handed for seven hours. Well I showed him. I stayed up there for nine. In retrospect, I probably should have used my left hand.”
Wood also confessed that this isn’t the first time his affinity for the monkey bars has kept him out of action. “Yeah, about three years ago, I was having terrible back spasms, and that kept me out of the rotation for extended periods of time. I told everyone it was just an old nagging injury that came back every once in a while, and I didn’t know what caused it or how to deal with it. The truth is, I strained my back trying to hang upside down on the monkey bars like a bat. And I totally did it for like a millions seconds!”
The elbow ligament injury that forced Wood to undergo Tommy John surgery early in his career is also the fault of the monkey bars, Wood says.
“Yeah, don’t ever try to steal a set of monkey bars from a public park. They might look light, and you might really, really want them. But they’ve got those darn things cemented down pretty good.”