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D-backs starter Daniel Hudson suffers major setback, re-injures ligament in elbow

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson re-tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will require a second surgery, a devastating injury sustained as he was on the cusp of rejoining the team's rotation.

The 26-year-old Hudson left his first rehabilitation start Tuesday with Double-A Jacksonville after his arm tightened up during the second inning. An MRI on Thursday afternoon revealed the tear.

Hudson is expected to undergo a second Tommy John surgery in the near future, a little more than 11 months after his first. The late Dr. Lewis Yocum performed the first operation. A source said Hudson likely would use Dr. James Andrews for the next surgery. 

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Arizona starter Daniel Hudson faces another surgery on his pitching elbow. (USA Today Sports)

The injury shocked Hudson as well as Diamondbacks officials. Aside from a few minor setbacks, his rehabilitation from the first injury was considered to be going well. In games at the Diamondbacks' spring training complex, he had worked up to 75 pitches. His progress was evident in the first inning of his rehab start in Double-A: The first pitch he threw, a fastball, sizzled at 95 mph, leading to loud chatter in the scouts' section of the stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.

Hudson settled in around 92 mph and finished the first inning. In the middle of the second inning, his velocity started to dip, and his fastball leveled out around 88. He removed himself from the game, concerned his arm felt dead, after two innings and 48 pitches.

Now comes the difficult part. While recovering from multiple Tommy John surgeries is increasingly common, doing so as a starter is rare. Los Angeles Dodgers starter Chris Capuano is the most successful case. Doug Brocail, like Hudson, had back-to-back surgeries and returned for six more seasons out of the bullpen. Relievers Joakim Soria and Brian Wilson have yet to return from their second surgeries, and free agent Todd Coffey, throwing up to 94 mph, is expected to work out for teams in the near future after returning from his second surgery last July.

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