TUCSON (KGUN9-TV)- Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson has spent the month of July in the bullpen, but the Virginia native isn't warming up for any games. Right now he's just going through the motions, trying to get back to full form.
Hudson, who was traded from the Chicago White Sox to Arizona back in 2010, contributed to the club right away. In his first season with the Diamondbacks he was 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA, but on June 12, 2012 life threw him a curve ball.
"I knew something was off just a little big, I was pitching terrible. I really couldn't explain it. I could barley straighten my arm out," said Hudson.
The diagnosis was devastating. Hudson had torn his ulnar collateral ligament and Tommy John surgery was the only way to fix it.
Hudson said, "Really what I was worried about and concerned about was the rehab process afterward. What I'd feel like after the first ten days and what the first couple of months would be like."
After a full year of rehab, Hudson was just a few outings away from being back with the Dbacks, when his rehab start with the AA Mobile BayBears didn't go as planned.
"I went out for the 2nd inning, it didn't hurt at the time, it just was tight and I'd had that feeling before. Probably 15 pitches into that inning it locked up again. I tried to keep my fingers crossed and prayed that it was something else other than my ligament," added Hudson.
But his prayers were not answered. Dr. James Andrews told him that he had torn his UCL again and that he'd have to undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time in a year.
Hudson said, "I had a tough time pressing the accept button. I hung up the phone and just cried just because the mental part was so rough."
Hudson was so frustrated and strongly considered leaving baseball for good, but he knew he had to give it another shot.
"I figured I couldn't look myself in the mirror again if I didn't give it another go and it helped that this organization has been so supportive," said Hudson.
So for the past year, Hudson has been on a mission to get back on the mound. He's making great strides but still worries that it could happen again.
"Going through what I went through, there are thoughts that maybe I should back off sometimes, but that's a mental thing that I'm just going to have to get through," said Hudson.
If things go according to plan, Hudson should make his rehab start in August, he should be back in a role with the Diamondbacks in September.