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07/29/08 10:16 PM ET

Hudson to visit doctor on Wednesday

MRI shows Braves starter has damaged ligament in right elbow

ATLANTA -- Tim Hudson will visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday to get a better understanding about the damaged ligament in his right elbow. The Braves right-hander is crossing his fingers and hoping that he won't need to undergo Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery.

An MRI exam performed on Monday showed some damage to Hudson's ligament. Because he hasn't felt a lot of pain, he was shocked to hear his discomfort was caused by more than just inflammation.

Hudson's setback further increased the almost-ridiculous injury woes suffered by the Braves' starting rotation this year. John Smoltz underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in June and Tom Glavine has been out since June 10 with a slightly torn flexor tendon in his left elbow.

Ironically, Mike Hampton, who made his first start in nearly three full years on Saturday, currently stands as the only healthy veteran who was part of the Braves' starting rotation coming out of Spring Training.

With all of this bad luck surrounding the rotation, Hudson said that it might be better for he and Smoltz to make the two-hour drive to see Andrews on Wednesday. Smoltz is just going for a regular checkup.

"If Smoltz wants to fly, I'll fly," Hudson said. "With our luck, we might go down. I'll make sure I take my parachute."

Even with all of the despair that has recently hit the Braves, many of them produced some humorous remarks on Wednesday. Outfielder Matt Diaz, who has been out since May 27 with a torn ligament in his left knee, said there's still reason for hope, even though many have deemed his team's postseason hopes to be over.

"Some people come out of comas and are fine," Diaz said. "Sometimes they pull the plug [on a life-support system] and you wake up."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.