Tim Hudson #15 of the Atlanta Braves is attented to after being injured on a play at first base in the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 24, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson (15) reacts after being injured in a collision at first base with New York Mets left fielder Eric Young Jr. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports, UP Presswire)
ATLANTA / NEW YORK -- Braves Pitcher Tim Hudson came back to Atlanta with the team Thursday night, one night after his season-ending ankle injury during the Mets game in New York.
An ambulance took Hudson straight from Atlanta's airport to Piedmont Hospital.
He arrived there at about 8:45 p.m.
His wife, Kim Hudson, tweeted at 12:22 a.m. Friday, "Tim is resting comfortably and is scheduled for surgery on Friday afternoon. We're overwhelmed by your prayers and well wishes. #blessed"
The team buses took everyone else to Turner Field so they could drive home and rest up for the Cardinals series which begins Friday.
Everyone was understandably somber as they got off of the buses at the players' parking lot, worried for Hudson, and realizing they have to go on, without him, for the rest of the season.
But Braves Catcher Gerald Laird said Hudson is the one trying to cheer them up.
"I talked to him on the plane," Laird said. "He seems like he's in good spirits. The main thing is, he knows how good the season's going for us, and he wants to be out there competing with us and his teammates. And we all know he wants to be out there. But he's going to do what he can to get right. And he said he wants to be around. I'm sure you're going to see his face a lot, supporting us and watching us.... And we all feel terrible for him, but he's going to keep us in line."
Fox Sports Analyst Joe Simpson said no one's counting Hudson out, but those who witnessed the on-field accident realized right away how serious his ankle injury is.
"It was so heartbreaking for a guy like Tim to be pitching so well, and he's such an important part of the ball club to be lost for the rest of the year.... He'd just gotten back on track, you know, he'd just gotten rolling. And for a season to come to an end like that was really difficult."
Sports physicians and orthopedic surgeons say that, generally, bone injuries heal faster and better than injured tendons and ligaments, and that it is possible that Hudson could complete rehab and be back on the mound for the 2014 season.
Hudson had to be carted off the field Wednesday when he suffered an ankle injury that can only be described as hard to watch.
The 38-year-old Atlanta Braves pitcher was in the midst of a stellar outing (7.2 innings pitched, 2 earned runs, 9 strikeouts) against the New York Mets when he ran to cover first base on a routine play.
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Hudson reeled in the catch to record the out in plenty of time, but Mets left fielder Eric Young Jr. stepped on Hudson's right ankle/foot while running out the play.
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Hudson almost instantaneously crumpled to the ground as his ankle bent at nearly an 90-degree angle.
Right before they took Hudson off the field, Young shook Hudson's hand. Both players then left the field in tears.
Young later told reporters that he told Hudson he was sorry, that it was an accident and he didn't mean to hurt him. He said Hudson told him to keep his head up and to keep playing the game the hard way, the right way, and that there was nothing he could do about it.
Hudson is out for the season - a huge loss for the ball club.
Thursday morning, Tim's wife, Kimberly Hudson, called into WSB radio for their annual Cancer Care-a-thon. The couple has been a huge supporter of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
"What he broke was the bottom of his fibula, so he's got a broken bone on the outside, bottom part of his leg, and then, when that happened, it shifted, everything moved, so he's got aches and sprains and tears. He did it right, he didn't leave anything out," she said.
Tweets poured in following the injury.
Chipper Jones tweeted, "Hoping and praying for the best possible news for Huddy! Didn't look good but hopefully not as bad as video showed. Luh ya bruh!"
Atlanta Braves radion reporter Kevin McAlpin wrote, "Subdued #Braves clubhouse post game. Many players asking us if we heard any updates. Tim Hudson loved & respected by his teammates."