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05/08/09 8:33 PM ET

Lee misses third straight game

Battling neck spasms, Cubs slugger expected back Saturday

MILWAUKEE -- The Chicago Cubs will get a new infielder Saturday when newly-acquired Ryan Freel joins the team. The team fully expects to gain another infielder Saturday as well.

In the meantime, first baseman Derrek Lee was out of the lineup Friday for the third straight game, recovering from neck spasms.

"He feels better," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said before the game. "He's going to take batting practice today, take some ground balls at first base, and if he feels OK, we'll have him back tomorrow."

The ailment, which began popping up on road trip stops to Phoenix and St. Louis late last month, has flared up before without long-term consequences.

"He's only had it one time in both years [I've been here]," Piniella said.

"I don't know what we can do," Piniella deadpanned. "Stretch his neck more often? ... When Derrek complains about something, you know he's hurt, because this young man loves to play."

Righty Carlos Zambrano, on the disabled list since May 4 with a left hamstring strain, is similarly on the mend after working with the team therapist.

"The middle part of this week, he's going to throw a bullpen, and then we'll have a pretty good idea where he's at on his rehab," Piniella said.

JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.