Evans Clinchy
Monday February 20th, 2012

Tim Hudson is still on the mend from the back surgery he underwent on Nov. 28, but the veteran hurler is confident he can return to the Atlanta Braves by May.

"Me getting back for the start of the season was never really a possibility, just from a timeline standpoint," Hudson told MLB.com. "The kind of surgery I had is a three-to-sixth-month deal. Five months puts me at May 1."

Hudson underwent surgery in Atlanta to fuse the L5/S1 disk in his back. He says he's now recovering his strength and is able to do some of the simple things that previously pained him, like putting on his shoes.

Hudson's temporary absence may make room for youngsters Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado to vie for a spot in the Braves' starting rotation this season. The 36-year-old righty Hudson went 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA for the Braves last season. He's entering the final season of a three-year, $28 million contract in Atlanta.

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