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Yankees Starter Phil Hughes Throws Bullpen Session, Says He Is Pain-Free

Phil Hughes (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Phil Hughes (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

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TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Yankees starter Phil Hughes continues to work his way back from injury.

Hughes has thrown 27 pitches off a bullpen mound three weeks after being diagnosed with a bulging disk in his upper back.

Hughes says the session on Monday was a big step in trying to be ready to pitch during the opening week of the regular season.

The right-hander added that he is pain-free. He is scheduled to throw batting practice Thursday and could follow that with a simulated game.

Hughes, who went 16-13 with a 4.19 ERA over 32 starts last season, had a 10-pitch mound session Saturday.

Do you think Hughes will avoid the disabled list to start the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)