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Phil Hughes on track to begin throwing program Thursday

May 10, 2011, 8:00 PM EDT

Phil Hughes

While Phil Hughes is still a long way from pitching with the Yankees again, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com reports that he’s tentatively scheduled to begin a throwing program Thursday.

Hughes was placed on the disabled list last month after posting a 13.94 ERA over his first three starts while showing significantly diminished velocity with his fastball. He underwent a battery of tests to rule out any serious injury — including thoracic outlet syndrome — but said Monday that his shoulder has responded well to a recent cortisone shot.

“I’m confident. I know it just didn’t just disappear,” Hughes said of his fastball velocity. “…. I’m confident it will be there.”

It’s just baby steps right now, as Hughes will likely start by throwing off flat ground and simply progress from there. The Yankees are hopeful that the 24-year-old right-hander will be able to return in six to eight weeks.

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