LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tim Hudson returned to Braves camp on Wednesday ready to begin his normal preseason preparations. The veteran pitcher received a clean bill of health after going to Atlanta on Tuesday to visit noted back surgeon Dr. Steven Wray.
"I'm ready to go," Hudson said. "The back is not a concern to me. I've just got to start getting my arm, legs and everything else ready to go."
Hudson completed a normal bullpen session on Wednesday. This marked the first time the 36-year-old veteran threw off the mound since undergoing a Nov. 30 surgical procedure that fused his L5 and S1 vertebrae. Tuesday's visit showed that the bone-producing proteins inserted via a sponge during the surgery had formed a solid structure between the vertebrae.
Hudson will continue to throw bullpen sessions over the next couple weeks and then begin throwing live batting practice. There is an outside chance he could be ready to pitch in a game before the end of the exhibition season. If this proves true, he could be ready to join the Atlanta rotation in late April.
But Hudson wants to see how his body reacts over the next couple of weeks before placing a definitive timetable on his return.