Phil Hughes is at least 6-8 weeks away from returning to the Yankees' rotation, yet Brian Cashman sounded as encouraged as he's been in a while about the righthander's future.Luckily Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia (to a lesser degree) have both been solid, otherwise this loss would be a major problem.
With all tests for thoracic outlet syndrome coming back negative after his appointment in St. Louis on Monday, Hughes returned to New York and met with Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees' team physician. The plan is for Hughes to rest for two more weeks, then begin a throwing program that will essentially serve as a second spring training for the 24-year-old.
"Clearly, we're in a better position today than we were in St. Louis when we were worried about potentially losing him for the year," Cashman said. "I still have hope that we're going to get this guy back and he's going to help us, but I can't tell you that we're out of the woods, either."
Joe Girardi echoed Cashman's sentiments.
"There was a black cloud before and now there is optimism that he will be back," Girardi said. "We'll just keep our fingers crossed."
Cashman revealed that Hughes received a cortisone injection in his right shoulder on April 28.
Hughes - whose official injury has been listed as right shoulder inflammation - told the doctor that he felt "110% better," according to Cashman, giving the Yankees hope that he's on the road back.