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Braves RHP Hudson to have surgery on broken ankle

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) Tim Hudson needs surgery on his broken right ankle, an injury that leaves the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves without one of their top pitchers.

Hudson got hurt while covering first base Wednesday night during an 8-2 victory over the New York Mets when Eric Young Jr. stepped on the back of his lower leg. The 38-year-old right-hander was carted off the field in obvious pain.

He had X-rays at Citi Field, and the Braves say he will undergo surgery in Atlanta once the swelling goes down. It's unclear how long Hudson will be out or whether he'll be able to pitch again this season.

Hudson (8-7) was working on a four-hit shutout in the eighth inning when Young hit a grounder that was knocked down by first baseman Freddie Freeman. Hudson took Freeman's toss at the bag just before Young arrived, and the speedy outfielder inadvertently stepped on Hudson, driving his right ankle awkwardly into the ground.

He immediately went down in pain, and Young rushed over to check on him. The crowd at Citi Field groaned when the replay was shown on the big video board.

EMS workers strapped Hudson to a backboard and drove him off the field on a cart as fans applauded.

Hudson struck out a season-high nine in 7 2-3 innings to win his fourth straight start.

Updated July 24, 2013

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