Hudson, who finally underwent a spinal fusion surgery on Nov. 28 that he had been putting off, reported to Spring Training with the ability to painless do simple things, such as putting on shoes, that he had not been able to do for years. He is looking to return to the field in May.
"I definitely feel like I'm getting around a lot better," Hudson told braves.com. "I felt like Fred Sanford for two or three years walking around the locker room."
Atlanta neurosurgeon Dr. Stevan Wray went through Hudson's stomach to insert a sponge filled with bone-producing proteins to fuse the L5/S1 disk in his back.
Hudson says he feels much stronger, but his abdominal region is still not up to par in terms of strength, requiring him to exhibit patience.
"Me getting back for the start of the season was never really a possibility, just from a timeline standpoint," Hudson said. "The kind of surgery I had is a three-to-sixth-month deal. Five months puts me at May 1."
If Hudson had gone under the knife immediately after the season, he would probably have been ready for Spring Training. He had used anti-inflammatory medication to pitch through the pain for the last two years.
"Now that I have had it and I feel really good about it, I feel like I can play a really long time," Hudson said.
Hudson's absence from the starting rotation could open a spot for Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado. Kris Medlen could also land the role if the prospects struggle during Spring Training.
In the meantime, Moylan is anxious to get back on the mound, but two surgeries last season, one for a herniated disk in May and ashoulder surgery in September, have left him with a minor league contract and no time table for a return.
Moylan, however, was cleared to throw from 90 feet and did so Sunday without no discomfort.
"You don't know how it's going to respond at all of these levels [of throwing]," Moylan said. "If it feels good all the way through, who knows when I'm going to be ready. But there is no real 'this is the day we want you back.' That's good. There's no pressure. I'm not going to want to rush it."
The 33-year-old Australian hopes to return by the end of May and would compliment the National League's best bullpen in 2011, which included Rookie of the Year Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty.
Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, MLB, Peter Moylan, Tim Hudson
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