PHOENIX -- All-Star Diamondbacks second baseman Orland Hudson is done for the season and will have surgery on Monday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.
The news deals a severe blow to the team, which is in first place in the National League West and now must battle for a playoff spot during the season's final three weeks without one of its key veteran players, who have been the heart and soul of a young team.
"The heart is still going to be there, but we're not going to have a guy who's one of our best players on the field," said manager Bob Melvin, before his club played the Cardinals on Saturday night at Chase Field in another game with postseason implications for both teams. "You can sit here and feel sorry for yourself, or you move on and you try to keep grinding like we have."
Hudson injured the thumb on Tuesday night against the Padres, sliding into third base headfirst on the front end of a seventh-inning double steal. Hudson's thumb smashed into the base, and he knew he was hurt at the time.
Hudson, though, finished that game and played on Wednesday night, lasting through seven innings. The D-backs won both games against their division rivals to vault back into first place.
An MRI revealed the extent of the injury on Thursday, and when Hudson hadn't improved two days later, the decision was collectively made on Saturday for him to have the surgery, Melvin said. It's a six-to-eight week recovery rate, so Hudson should be fully back in gear next February for the start of Spring Training.
"I talked to my grandma about it a couple nights ago and again last night, and my mom was talking about it," Hudson said. "My dad kept telling me, 'What if you just patch it up and go at it?' But after talking to my agent and talking with [Melvin] again, it was the best thing to do. It was a tough decision, but [playing with it] could have caused long-term damage."
Hudson's season ends with him hitting .294 with 28 doubles, nine triples, 10 homers, 63 RBIs and 69 runs scored.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.