It took just two weeks of spring training for fragile Phil Hughes to come down with an injury, as the New York Yankees announced on Wednesday that the starting pitcher would miss time with a bulging disc in his back.
“It can be a recurring situation if I don’t take care of it now,” Hughes told reporters on Wednesday. “(The doctor) was adamant on, stay off it, let it heal, don’t push it and it won’t be an issue. … The first day was rough getting out of bed and stuff like that. Now I’m moving around a lot better. I don’t feel it just standing here or anything. That part’s encouraging, and I feel like in three or four days, once I go through these meds, that I’m going to feel that much better.”
The consensus seems to be that the best-case scenario for Hughes is to begin throwing in “six or seven days.” However, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said he believes it will be about two weeks before Hughes is back into his normal spring routine. “The doctor clearly isn’t aggressively treating it and that’s a good sign,” Cashman said. “But there’s no guarantees until we get through the two-week process, and we see where he’s at and he’s back on the mound and stuff like that.
Hughes noted that he did not believe that the back injury would set him back much. “I felt like I was kind of ahead of the game with my throwing,” Hughes said. “I threw a bunch of bullpens before I got here. Thankfully it’s early enough in spring where, it’s a setback, but we still have a lot of time to get it right and not push it and make sure I’m 100 percent healthy. When I do pick up a ball in seven days I won’t be too far behind in my throwing.”
Montgomery on the mend
Phil Hughes is not the only Yankees pitcher with a back injury. Top relief pitching prospect Mark Montgomery has missed the past few days with a “sore lower back,” though reportedly was feeling much better on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old did some long toss today and reported just minor stiffness, but nothing to be concerned about. Montgomery will do long toss again tomorrow and is finally scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday.
Pineda pleads out
Despite being injured for the entire 2012 season, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda still found a way to make headlines in August after being arrested on suspicion of DUI. Today, Pineda’s journey of the Hillsborough County court system ended, as the 24-year-old pitcher pleaded no contest to the charges.
A judge ordered that Pineda serve 50 hours community service, up to one year of probation, attend DUI school and pay a $500 fine.
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