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D-backs’ Hudson has realistic expectations for 2013

LISTEN: Daniel Hudson, D-backs pitcher

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Daniel Hudson took another step forward in his recovery on Tuesday, throwing for the first time off a mound since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery last July.

Despite reaching another milestone in his comeback, Hudson has kept realistic expectations for the 2013 season.

“I am not going to set any crazy standards and say that I am going to be anywhere close to where I was in 2010-2011 and there’s no point in setting those standards because you just never know once you get back in those game situations after having not thrown in a big league game for 12 months, there’s no way to know how things are going to go,” Hudson told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Tuesday. “A lot of guys say they don’t even feel like themselves again until 13, 14 months. So hopefully I can come back and give the guys a chance to win every fifth day.”

The 26-year-old hurler went 16-12 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 169 strikeouts in 222 innings pitched in 2011. He went 3-2 with a 7.35 ERA in just 45.1 innings pitched last season.

Hudson is targeting a return around the 2013 All-Star break, and appears to be on target to meet that timetable.

“I haven’t heard anything different,” Hudson stated. “We haven’t had any major setbacks or anything like that so, knock on wood, obviously I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t be able to come back by the 12-month mark which should put me right around the All-Star break.”

But Hudson isn’t getting too far ahead of himself just yet. The D-backs’ starter is focused on forging full speed ahead in his rehabilitation process.

“The next step would be to start mixing in some breaking balls and then after that it would be to kind of just build my arm strength up to where I could start comfortably going into game situations,” Hudson explained. “Then hopefully throw a couple of live BPs or simulated games here in a few weeks and hopefully start getting back into game situations within a couple months.”