03/09/2007 6:35 PM ET
Derrek Lee: Knock on wood
It's been a long time since all of our key guys have been healthy. This might be the first time I've been able to say that since I've been with the Cubs. Knock on wood.
Derrek Lee was limited to 49 games last season because of wrist problems. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Health is huge in this game and we've had a lot of bad luck in that area over the past several years. No matter how much you prepare, though, that's a tough thing to control.
But looking around our clubhouse you can tell that guys have worked hard to get ready during the offseason. Everyone seems like they're ready to go. I look across the room at a guy like Kerry Wood and he looks great. That's an exciting thing for us. Not only does he look good but the ball is jumping out of his hand, too.
Last season I broke my wrist and I wasn't the same after that. It was extremely frustrating for me. Not because of the year I had before but because we were playing well as a team and you never want to get hurt.
It was the first time I've really been injured in my career. I'd never experienced anything like that before, so it was frustrating. I had two broken bones, so there was nothing I could do to expedite the healing process; I just had to be patient and let the healing take its course.
Now, coming into this year, I feel 100 percent again. My bones are healed and I feel strong. I'm probably better rested than I've been in a long time because I only played 50 games last season, so maybe I'll feel a little fresher when we get to September.
On top of being healthy as a team, we've also brought in a few top players -- Alfonso Soriano, Mark DeRosa, Cliff Floyd, Ted Lilly, Daryle Ward ... these guys are all proven major league players who give us more depth than we've had in recent years.
Even when we do have an injury we'll have guys who can step in and do the job for us.
Derrek Lee, the Cubs' veteran first baseman, missed all but 50 games in 2006 after suffering a broken wrist in a collision. He was coming off a career 2005 season in which he batted .335 with 46 home runs and 107 RBIs.