Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes has been nursing a bulging disk in his back over the last week, taking anti-inflammatory medication and doing limited work in a pool. Manager Joe Girardi acknowledged on Wednesday that his No. 4 starter might be ready in time for the regular season.

“It's possible,” said Girardi to Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “I think it's too early to tell that, though.”

Girardi said Hughes, 26, needs to be stretched out to roughly 75 pitches before he can make a regular-season start, and they simply might run out of time in camp. Jennings does the math and says if he needs four starts and pitches every five days, the latest Hughes could get on a mound and be ready for the season is March 18.