Wood made just four starts this season following shoulder surgery on Aug. 31 and will miss the rest of the year with a partially torn rotator cuff. He hopes to come back next season as a reliever.
The right-hander announced his plans after Wednesday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks was postponed by rain. The teams will play a doubleheader on Thursday starting at 12:05 p.m.
Arizona's Juan Cruz (3-6) will start the opener against Carlos Marmol (4-4), and Enrique Gonzalez (3-2) will be on the mound in the second game for the Diamondbacks against Juan Mateo, who will be making his major league debut.
Wood based his decision on advice he received from doctors and players that had similar injuries.
"I think anytime you can avoid surgery that's what you need to do," said Wood. "In the situation right now, at this time surgery is not the best option."
Wood has been on the disabled list nine times in his career and his future is uncertain with the Cubs. With the club holding a $13.5 million contract option on the 28-year-old for next season, there is a possibility he may have pitched his final game for the Cubs. Wood's deal includes a $3 million buyout.
Wood hasn't been able to discuss his future with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry yet.
"I haven't. A lot of stuff going on his end and stuff on my end, we haven't talked about that, but I think I would rather stay here, but I think it something we need to talk about when the time is right," said Wood.
Wood, who is 71-55 in his career, began the season on the DL. After being activated, he went 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA in four starts before going back on the injured list June 7. He was on the DL three times last season, the final time on Aug. 30, one day before his surgery.
Wood, who made the decision a week ago, will return to Arizona to begin a rehab process.