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D-backs planning to use Hudson as reliever

D-backs planning to use Hudson as reliever

PHOENIX -- The D-backs have four pitchers in various stages of their recovery from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery -- Patrick Corbin, David Hernandez, Matt Reynolds and Daniel Hudson.

Corbin had surgery last month and his left arm is in a sling. Hernandez underwent surgery Monday and is not yet back with the team. Reynolds and Hudson are actively rehabbing.

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Before there was Corbin, there was Hudson, a 16-game winner in 2011, who hasn't pitched since midway through 2012 and is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery since then.

This time, though, Hudson's days as a starter might be over.

"I think we would not do that," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said this week about a future role for Hudson. "It probably would be more in the bullpen."

Hudson is back on the mound and has thrown three bullpen sessions in this phase of his rehab. The plan is to have him throw bullpens on Tuesdays and Fridays and long toss on interim days for the foreseeable future. The anniversary date of his last surgery is June 18, only days after he made his one Minor League rehab start last year. It's a one-year to 18-month recovery time from the date of the surgery.

"There's no reason to rush," Hudson said. "This time we're going to take it easy. I'm feeling really good."

Gibson said Hudson is right on schedule.

"He threw his second or third bullpen the other day and was just awesome," Gibson said. "We're looking at right around a July return, something like that, either June or July if everything goes good."

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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