RHP Curt Schilling's shoulder showed no signs of a bone spur in X-rays taken yesterday, and the Phillies' ace is on schedule to make his next start Friday against the Reds.

Schilling received a cortisone injection in the shoulder on Sunday and "feels much better," team doctor Michael Ciccotti said.

"I do not expect that he will need another shot, and I do not expect that he will need surgery," Ciccotti said.

It was the first good news in a while on Schilling's condition. Schilling had made 117 straight starts before missing one July 28 because of biceps tendinitis. He returned to the rotation Saturday and allowed seven earned runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings of an 8-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. Then, Schilling was diagnosed with bursitis and received a cortisone shot Sunday.

BACK SIDELINES BIG MAC: Mark McGwire left the Cardinals' game last night with tightness in his lower back. McGwire, who thrilled a large crowd at Veterans Stadium with a power-hitting show in batting practice, walked in his only at-bat against Phillies starter Robert Person.

Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa said he won't know until today if McGwire will miss any more games.