TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes appeared to escape without injury when he was hit in the lower back by a one-hop comebacker in a simulated game.
Hughes was struck Monday in his first simulated game since he was sidelined last month by a bulging disk in his upper back. He is expected to pitch in a minor league exhibition game Friday or Saturday.
Injured Feb. 18 during a defensive drill, Hughes went 16-13 with 4.23 ERA in 32 starts for the Yankees last season. The team has not ruled out the right-hander missing his first turn during the regular season.
Left-handed starter Andy Pettitte and closer Mariano Rivera pitched in minor league games Monday, which was an off day for the Yankees.
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