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Brandon Morrow

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Brandon Morrow throws in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on May 20 in Cincinnati. 

CHICAGO _ The Cubs' search for late-inning relief help is more pressing than originally believed.

Closer Brandon Morrow underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow last month and likely won't be ready for the start of the season.

Team President Theo Epstein revealed Thursday that Morrow, who didn't pitch in the second half because of a bone bruise, underwent the procedure Nov. 6.

After pain from the bruise subsided, Morrow reported the elbow didn't feel healthy. His surgery was similar to that of right-hander Yu Darvish, who is recovering well after undergoing a late-August procedure to clean up cartilage.

Pedro Strop, who had 13 saves last season, is the Cubs' most experienced reliever to fill the closer role.

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