ARLINGTON, Texas — New York Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain was removed from the game Monday night against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning with what the club announced was a stiff right shoulder.

Trailing 5-4 in the fifth, Chamberlain gave up a two-out single to Marlon Byrd. When Chamberlain got back on the mound, assistant trainer Steve Donohue and manager Joe Girardi ran onto the field to check on him.

Chamberlain could not continue and was replaced by Edwar Ramirez.

The Rangers had taken a 5-4 lead earlier in the inning on Michael Young's three-run homer.

Chamberlain gave up all five earned runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. His ERA jumped from 2.24 to 2.63.

WOOD READY TO COME OFF DISABLED LIST: Chicago Cubs closer Kerry Wood will come off the 15-day disabled list in the next couple of days after a long stay because of a blister on his right index finger.

Wood threw 30 pitches to hitters from the Wrigley Field mound after warming up and getting some work done in the bullpen hours before Sunday's game against the Pirates. He said he also did some throwing Monday morning.

Sidelined since July 11, Wood couldn't get the blister to heal until recently.

"I tried just about everything. Then the last thing we tried seemed to work well. It turned around in about three or four days," Wood said Monday without explaining the procedure. "It toughened it up and worked well."

Manager Lou Piniella said Wood would be used in middle relief the first time he returns to the mound and then resume the closer's role when he's ready.

"He should have a nice fresh arm between now and the end of the year," Piniella said.

After making his 12th trip to the disabled list in 10 years, Wood is just ready to pitch. He could be activated as early as Tuesday.

"Hopefully we can get it done the next couple of days. Every thing is fine," he said.

"I've missed time before, but it's frustrating when it's something as small as this. You miss some games and not part of the action in a pennant race. It's no fun to just be watching."

Wood is 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA and 24 saves in 29 chances.