The 36-year-old veteran had been trying to avoid going under the knife by strengthening his back during the offseason, but general manager Frank Wren says Hudson's back had been troublesome for the past couple of seasons.
“We’ve known for a couple of years, but it just kind of escalated to the point where he needed to do this,” Wren said. “The hope all along was that this would be a post-career surgery, but the reality is it just got progressively worse.”
Hudson can begin his throwing program in about six weeks, which is ahead of schedule compared to what he did last season, when he was hampered by back stiffness during Spring Training.
"Based on today's procedure, we are happy that this will help alleviate some of the discomfort that Tim felt," Wren said. "The prognosis is positive for him to be ready for Spring Training and to be able to pitch during the Spring Training schedule."
Since signing his contract in 2009 after a return from Tommy John surgery, Hudson has gone 33-19 with a 3.02 ERA and .232 opponents’ average in 443-2/3 innings. He only needs to pitch 156-1/3 innings in 2012 to get a $500,000 bonus for totaling 600 innings during the 2010-2012 seasons.
“He feels really good, like this is something that will help him and potentially extend his [career],” Wren told ajc.com. “From what the doctors have indicated to us, and in talking to Tim last week, he was limited in his throwing last spring [by back stiffness] and feels like he’ll be more able to throw this year than he was last January and in the spring.”
Although Hudson has gained a bulldog reputation, his back pain forced him to miss a start in May and go only four innings in two of his June starts. After missing his May start, Hudson went 9-2 with a 2.13 ERA in his next 14 starts.
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