Hudson feels on track after first mound session

Hudson feels on track after first mound session

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tim Hudson took what he considered to be a significant step toward retaining a spot in the Giants' starting rotation with a 25-pitch throwing session off a bullpen mound Wednesday.

Hudson threw his first pitches off a mound -- all fastballs -- since Game 7 of the World Series last Oct. 29. The next major baseball-related event in Hudson's life occurred Jan. 2, when he underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle. That procedure raised concerns that Hudson, 39, would not recover in time to open the regular season. But he expressed optimism after Wednesday's exercise.

"My arm felt pretty good and I had my legs under me," Hudson said. "I felt like I'm well on my way to where I want to be."

Hudson said that "barring any setbacks," he should be able to make a start during the season's first week.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.