Braves pitcher Tim Hudson had back surgery for a herniated disc on Monday, and doctors said the 36-year-old right-hander should be fully recovered for spring training.

His back bothered him to varying degrees for the past two seasons, but surgery was necessitated only after the pain increased during Hudson's recent offseason workouts. He could be cleared to resume throwing in about six weeks.

Hudson was 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA in 33 starts in 2011, leading the Braves in wins, ERA and innings (215) and ranking second in strikeouts (158). He missed a start in late May with back stiffness.

"We've known for a couple of years, but it just kind of escalated to the point where he needed to do this," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "The hope all along was that this would be a post-career surgery, but the reality is it just got progressively worse."