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Girardi says it’s possible Hughes won’t be ready for season

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Phil Hughes is expecting a few more days of pool workouts, and he has no idea when he’ll pick up a baseball. This afternoon, Joe Girardi acknowledged that Hughes might not be ready in time to open the season.

“It’s possible,” Girardi said. “I think it’s too early to tell that, though.”

Hughes needs to be stretched out to roughly 75 pitches this spring, which should take at least four starts. There’s time for him to get that many, but there’s little wiggle room, especially with Girardi saying Hughes probably won’t start a game for another two weeks.

“I couldn’t even tell you (how many spring starts are necessary),” Hughes said. “I need as many as I would have gotten (without the injury). The plan is setup because you need them. I’m a guy that needs the work. If I get to 70 pitches and they feel like I’m ready to go, then I’m ready to go.”

The Yankees will need a fifth starter no later than April 7. For Hughes to get four starts — pitching every fifth day — before April 7, he will need to make his first spring start no later than March 18. That’s two weeks from Monday.

“Every day is worrisome when I’m not throwing,” Hughes said. “It’s a double-edged sword. I don’t want to push this thing and have it become a recurring issue. I want to make sure it’s over and done with, but at the same time, every day is a day lost.”

Associated Press photo