Yankees manager Joe Girardi informed the media Tuesday that starting pitcher Phil Hughes will miss a brief amount of time, potentially just a few days, due to stiffness in his upper back. As per report by Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Girardi expressed this is a situation that will be closely monitored' however, there isn't much concern in regards to Hughes' progress in camp thus far:
“There's always a little bit of concern," Girardi said. "It's [his] upper back, so we'll see how he is in a couple of days. The good thing is, he was ahead of where he'd probably normally be at this time, so it helps.”
The stiffness occurred during fielding practice drills for the pitching staff, and while Girardi didn't report any significant tests were conducted, the injury, albeit minor, is alarming considering Hughes had to exit game three of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers last post-season due to a back flare-up.
As the 26-year-old right-hander enters 2013 with his first run at free agency looming following the season, Hughes will be looking to duplicate a 2012 performance in which he garnered 16 wins and struck out 165 batters over 191 innings pitched.
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