Tim Hudson “felt really good” after first BP session

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Tim Hudson continues to make good progress in his recovery from November back surgery, throwing live batting practice yesterday for the first time.

Hudson told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that he “felt really good” and “felt like my stuff was pretty good for the first day out there.”

He’s slated to throw another round of batting practice, plus a bullpen session, on Sunday before gradually increasing his workload next week. From there he’ll likely appear in some minor-league games, so Hudson isn’t close to rejoining the Braves’ rotation quite yet, but a late-April return now seems possible.

Hudson was fantastic last season, throwing 215 innings with a 3.15 ERA at age 36, and will make $9 million this year before Atlanta decides on his $9 million option or $1 million buyout for 2013.