Hudson returns to scene of devastating injury

Right-hander pitches in Atlanta for first time since UCL tear at Turner Field

Hudson returns to scene of devastating injury

ATLANTA -- June 26, 2012, is a night Daniel Hudson would just as soon forget. In fact you can make a case that it was the D-backs right-hander's worst day on a baseball field.

It was that night at Turner Field when Hudson initially tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery not long thereafter and had to have a second surgery one year later when he re-tore the ligament.

Hudson was not able to return to action until last September, making this his first trip to Turner Field since the injury.

"The last time I was here it wasn't a very good day for me," he said.

Hudson tossed a scoreless inning of relief in Friday night's series opener against the Braves and said that he no longer thinks about the injury. In Saturday's 8-4 win over the Braves, Hudson allowed a two-run home run to Nick Swisher in the eighth inning before striking out Ryan Lavarnway to escape further trouble.

"I'm just trying to go out there and get three outs whenever they ask me to," Hudson said. "Maybe I'm just wired different, but I just don't think about that kind of stuff once I get between the lines."

Hudson has made 44 appearances for the D-backs and manager Chip Hale said he has been pleasantly surprised by how often Hudson has been available to pitch.

It is still up for discussion whether Hudson will return to a starting role in 2016 or stay in the bullpen with Hale saying the team will defer to what Hudson thinks is best. Right now, he's just happy to be pitching, regardless of the role.

"I can tell it's the middle of August right now, but for the most part everything is feeling great," Hudson said. "And I'm knocking on wood every morning still. It's been fun."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.