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09/09/08 8:12 PM ET

Wandy to miss scheduled Friday start

Lefty has strained right oblique; Backe continues recovery

HOUSTON -- Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will miss his next scheduled start on Friday against the Cubs because of a strained right oblique muscle, Houston manager Cecil Cooper said on Tuesday afternoon.

"Wandy got a shot, [injured second baseman] Kazuo [Matsui] will probably get one tomorrow," Cooper said. "[Rodriguez] is going to miss a start."

Rodriguez left Sunday's start after one inning. Another starter with health issues, Brandon Backe, skipped his turn on Monday because of a sore elbow. A decision on Backe won't be made until after the club sees how the right-hander responds to Wednesday's throwing session, but it is possible the Astros could be short two starting pitchers for the important weekend series against the National League Central Division-leading Cubs.

"Backe will throw again tomorrow. Right now we're kind of status quo, and we've got [to be announced starters] for Friday and Saturday," Cooper said. "We should know after tomorrow night's ballgame."

Jack Cassel, who stepped in for Rodriguez on Sunday at Denver, is one option to start on Friday. Alberto Arias might be called on to start Saturday's game if Backe can't answer the bell. Arias pitched five scoreless innings on Monday night against Pittsburgh in his first Major League start.

"We've got to all suck it up, that's all," Cooper said. "Arias I thought did a great job, stepped up for us yesterday. They've got to kind of tighten the belts and give us everything they've got."

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