Hudson likely to return Tuesday for LA

Hudson likely to return Tuesday for LA

LOS ANGELES -- All-Star second baseman Orlando Hudson was out of Monday night's Dodgers lineup, but manager Joe Torre said X-rays were negative on Hudson's repaired left wrist and he should return to action Tuesday.

Hudson felt a twinge when he used the hand to prevent Houston pitcher Russ Ortiz from backing into him as Hudson ran by first base, where Ortiz was covering and taking a throw in the bottom of the fifth inning on Sunday.

Because of surgery Hudson underwent last August to repair a dislocation, his left wrist does not bend backward even a little. He's learned to glove grounders and throws while keeping the wrist rigid with the help of a brace, but he instinctively extended his hand to fend off Ortiz and the slight contact was painful.

"He's OK and ready to play according to him, but we'll give him today," Torre said. "He's usable if we need him."

Juan Castro started at second base on Monday.

Hudson signed a contract loaded with incentives based on plate appearances, so time is money. He's guaranteed $3.38 million this year, has already earned another $2.3 million in incentives with another $2.32 million possible.

The deal was structured to mitigate risk after Hudson suffered an unusual and potentially career-threatening injury while with Arizona last season. When Hudson's glove collided with Atlanta baserunner Brian McCann as he reached for an errant throw from pitcher Juan Cruz, Hudson's hand apparently was jammed back with such violent force that the lunate bone did a 180-degree flip down and a 180-degree twist to the left, blowing out the ligaments that hold the wrist together. Additionally, the bone came to rest against the median nerve in what amounted to an excruciatingly painful carpal tunnel catastrophe.

Hudson required emergency surgery by Dr. Michael Lee that night to return the bone to its proper location. Two days later, Dr. Don Sheridan inserted five pins to stabilize the bones and anchor sutures to reattach the ligaments.

Also, Torre said left-handed reliever Scott Elbert was returned to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room on the 25-man roster for Jason Schmidt, who was activated to pitch Monday night after two years on the shelf with shoulder problems. To make room on the 40-man roster, reliever Eric Milton was moved to the 60-day disabled list.

Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo, another disabled reliever, resumed his rehab assignment at Class A Inland Empire with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning Monday night. Torre said management hasn't decided if Kuo will be tested in back-to-back appearances or stretched out to two innings, but he likely will do one or the other this week before being activated around the end of the month.

The injury to Ronald Belisario has added to the workload of Guillermo Mota, and Kuo would be most helpful if he could handle multiple innings, but his brittle elbow hasn't been asked to do that this year.

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