CHICAGO (AP) _ Chicago Cubs rookie Kerry Wood will miss his second straight start Friday because of a sore elbow, a condition that couldn't come at a worse time for a team trying to make the playoffs.

Wood, who missed his start Sunday against the Pirates, tried to throw on the side Wednesday but stopped after five pitches.

``We'll play it by ear and take it on a day-to-day basis,'' Cubs general manager Ed Lynch said.

``We'll just go off`what Kerry tells us.''

Wood met Tuesday with team physician Dr. Michael Schafer and a routine exam showed no major damage to the elbow.

``As a pitcher you never know until you get on the mound,'' Lynch said. He added that more tests could be necessary.

Wood, who tied a major league record by striking out 20 Houston Astros in May, is second in the NL with 233 strikeouts. He is 13-6 with a 3.40 ERA and opponents are hitting just .196 against him, tops in the league.

Wood had a ``tired arm'' in early August but did not skip a start. He's thrown 166 2-3 innings this season. He was not immediately available for comment.

Terry Mulholland will start in Wood's place Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers. It will be his fourth start of the season.