KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- The original plan was for Tim Hudson to go one inning in his first start of spring training. Then, Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez decided his ace might be able to go two.
After pitching two innings of the Braves' 8-2 loss to the New York Mets on Monday in his first outing since having offseason back surgery, Hudson said he would have liked to have gone three.
"We are not going to rush him," Gonzalez said. "We can hang on until he's ready."
Hudson allowed an infield hit in two innings. He went 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA for the Braves last year, but will start the season in the minors. Hudson said he expects to pitch one additional inning in each of his starts on the minor league level in April until returning to the majors in early May.
Hudson said he feels close to being ready, and didn't feel any pain after throwing 25 pitches, 16 for strikes against the Mets.
"I felt perfectly normal out there," Hudson said. "I threw my cutter, my curve, my split. I...