Yankees’ Phil Hughes Sidelined with Back Discomfort

Among all of the concern over the health of the New York Yankees’ older players, one of the talented younger pitchers now has a minor health issue. Right-handed starter Phil Hughes suffered back discomfort on Tuesday during pitcher defensive drills.

MLB.com’s Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch reports that the 26-year-old right hander experienced discomfort and stiffness in the back of his right shoulder while participating in pitchers’ fielding practice. Hoch reports that Hughes has seen a doctor and expects to miss only a few days.

Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi says that the problem is not serious and expects Hughes to return to action soon. Said Girardi, "There's always a little bit of concern…. "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."

Hughes went 16-13 with a 4.19 ERA for the Yankees in 2012 and figures to be the Yankees’ fourth starter in 2013 behind CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda. Hughes is in the final year of his current contract and can become a free agent for the first time in his career after the season ends. He is 52-36 with a 4.38 ERA in his six-year career. A strong season will enhance his chances of a big payday, especially if he contributes to another Yankee postseason run.

Sources:
Bryan Hoch, Hughes Sidelined with Upper Back Discomfort, Yankees.mlb.com, February 19, 2013.
New York Yankees, Phil Hughes Player Page, Yankees..mlb.com.



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