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D-backs' Hudson might need season-ending surgery

PHOENIX -- Arizona Diamondbacks all-star second baseman
Orlando Hudson may have to undergo season-ending thumb surgery.

General manager Josh Byrnes acknowledged Friday that surgery is
the "worst case scenario" after Hudson tore a ligament in his
left thumb sliding head-first into third base against San Diego on
Tuesday night. Hudson played Wednesday but was replaced after seven
innings.

"Right now it's assessing can he play with it, any risk we'd be
running and how he's feeling," Byrnes said. "We're going to give
it a couple of days, then regroup and make more of a decision on
Sunday."

The loss of Hudson would be a severe blow to a young team that
entered Friday night with a one-game lead in the NL West.

"I don't want to go there yet because he means so much to the
team," manager Bob Melvin said. "We're going to wait a couple of
days to see where it all plays out."

Hudson, a gold glove winner in both leagues, is hitting a
team-high .294 with 10 home runs and 63 RBIs.

Hudson had only missed two games entering Friday night's
contest.

With the injury to his glove hand, the issue is whether he could
grip the bat or field grounders without extreme pain or further
damage to the thumb.

"We all have his long-term interest at heart," Byrnes said.
"To put a player at any sort of risk is something we take very
seriously."

The team has three other second basemen -- Alberto Callaspo,
Augie Ojeda and Emilio Bonifacio. Callaspo, who has been sidelined
with a strained hamstring, would become the everyday second baseman
in Hudson's absence, Melvin said.

Callaspo might be ready to start on Saturday, the manager said.
Callaspo was recalled from Triple-A Tucson Sept. 4. He hit .341 for
the Sidewinders after being sent down earlier this year.

Hudson, known by his teammates as "O-Dog," has a fast-talking,
upbeat personality that has made him one of the team's leaders.

"I'm talking like something has happened here already as far as
him not being with us. I'd rather not do that," Melvin said. "But
either way he's still going to be with us. His personality and
everything he brings will always be with us."

Melvin emphasized that he's not yet counting Hudson out.

"We still have hope," he said. "That's why we're waiting a
couple of days."