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Daniel Hudson: Feels ‘great’ but unsure of when he’ll return

LISTEN: Daniel Hudson, D-backs' pitcher

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Daniel Hudson is working to get back on the mound.

Having suffered an elbow injury last season that required Tommy John surgery, the 26-year-old has spent most of the last year or so watching games instead of pitching in them, which hasn’t been easy.

But, as he told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Friday, he’s feeling pretty good these days.

“Bouncing back better and better each time,” he said, noting that he feels “great.”

“Knock on wood, go out there each day and feel better and better.”

As part of his rehab, Hudson recently began pitching against opposing hitters. He compared it to being in spring training, which means Hudson is a few setback-free weeks from possibly taking the mound in minor league games. From there, of course, the next step would be a spot with the big league club. And while the D-backs may not necessarily have room for him at the moment, they’d surely welcome him back.

Hudson was a key member of the D-backs’ pitching staff in 2011, when he won 16 games and posted an ERA of 3.49. His 2012 was not going so well, as he carried an ERA of 7.35 after nine starts, he’s hoping to come back and regain his status as one of the better young pitchers in the National League.

But when he does return, Hudson will be a little different as a pitcher. His throwing motion was always looked at as unique — and more prone to lead to injury — so the right-hander along with the D-backs’ staff has decided to tweak his mechanics a bit.

“Seeing what we can do to strengthen different parts of my body that kind of take the stress off my shoulder and my elbow,” he said. “And not, I wouldn’t say completely revamp mechanics, but made a couple of tweaks here and there to make other parts of my body work harder so I don’t put as much stress on my shoulder and elbow.”

Hudson, though, said he can’t let himself overthink things because he’s been pitching effectively a certain way for a long time. Then again, he hasn’t really pitched in a while, and the question now is when he’ll be ready to rejoin the D-backs.

“I don’t want to say that I’m going to be back earlier than everybody expected just because anything can happen within the next four or five weeks,” he said. “I’ll say worst-case scenario, after the All-Star break.

“Hopefully, anyways. Could come back a little sooner than that, could come back a little bit after, you never know at this point.”

Hudson said he’s a bad bullpen session away from perhaps shutting things down for a little while, meaning yeah, it’s nearly impossible to give a specific timetable.

“It’s just every day, go out there and see how you feel that day,” he said. “And go from there.”