Tim Hudson is set to make his return from spinal fusion surgery Sunday against the Pirates, right on schedule.
He’s been aiming all along for late April or early May and got there by making four minor league rehabilitation starts without any health-related issues. Now he’s looking forward to pitching a season without back pain for the first time in a few years.
“It’s going to be fun waking up the day after I pitch and not feel like Fred Sanford,” Hudson said.
Hudson built up to 110 pitches in his final start for Triple-A Gwinnett, but manager Fredi Gonzalez said Hudson will likely go no more than 100 pitches or six innings in his first start coming out of his own “spring training.”
Hudson went 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in two starts for Single-A Rome on his rehab assignment but rounded into form in two Triple-A starts. He allowed only one earned run in 10 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits, walking five and striking out eight.
“I feel like I got my legs under me,” Hudson said. “I feel like my sharpness has made some strides the last couple times out. I’m ready to get out there and try to earn my paycheck.”