Phil Hughes was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his upper back not long after arriving to spring training, but he returned to the mound earlier this morning.
According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Hughes threw a 10-pitch bullpen session and reported no issues with his back. He’s scheduled to throw a longer one on Monday and will progress from there.
There’s no timetable for Hughes to throw in a game, so the Yankees are preparing for the possibility that he will not be ready for the start of the season. If he needs more time, Ivan Nova and David Phelps will both begin the year in the rotation.
Hughes, 26, went 16-13 with a 4.23 ERA and 165/46 K/BB ratio over 191 1/3 innings last season. He is eligible to become a free agent after the 2013 season.