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Inside The Dodgers

Dodgers Injury News: RHP Daniel Hudson Frustrated By Slow Recovery

By Clint Pasillas,


Daniel Hudson knows he's no spring chicken anymore.

It's been a grind for Daniel Hudson. When the veteran reliever hobbled off the field last season after tearing his ACL, it felt like it could have been the last time we'd see him in a Dodgers uniform -- possibly even on a major league mound.

The Dodgers didn't let the doubt linger for too long as the two sides came together on a contract extension last September worth $6.5 million and included a club option for 2024.

There was some hope that he'd be recovered in time to return for opening day this season, but his body hasn't responded as well as anyone hoped. By all accounts, Hudson is close. He just threw his second live batting practice of the spring on Monday and is creeping his way back to the active roster, certainly at a frustratingly slower pace than he wanted, as he told the OC Register .

“Yeah – but it is what it is. I’m 36. I’m not 26 anymore. That’s just part of getting a little older and the rehab process taking a little longer and bouncing back and stuff like that. It’s definitely been frustrating. At the same time, I’m trying to keep my eyes on the bigger prize of being available towards the end of the season rather than potentially April 1.”

A couple weeks ago, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts conceded that Hudson likely would not be ready for opening day . But that's ok. The important games for this team come in October... not that wins in April don't count.

The LA bullpen is in a place where it can shoulder the burden of the veteran being out for a little longer than planned. Hudson is someone the team is quietly hoping can become the unofficial official closer at some point this season. But until then, guys like Brusdar Graterol, Evan Phillips, Alex Vesia and so can hold it down in the back end of the bullpen.

Hudson is among several relievers LA hopes to have back in the mix by mid-season or even a little later. The team signed right-hander Alex Reyes just before the start of camp and he has a target of some time near the All-Star break for a return. Jimmy Nelson returned to the club after missing all of 2022 following Tommy John surgery in 2021. And rotation ace Walker Buehler is hoping to find a way back in time to help in a relief role in September following Tommy John surgery of his own last August.

Dan Hudson says he's not ruling out an opening day return, but it's fine if he misses the mark by a few days or weeks.

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