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From Chad Jennings:

OAKLAND, CALIF. — Phil Hughes is almost ready to face hitters, but he’s still more than a month away from rejoining the Yankees’ rotation. Manager Joe Girardi said the All-Star break is a reasonable target for the Yankees’ injured starter.

“It’s probably, realistically, some time in July,” Girardi said.

Working his way back from shoulder inflammation, Hughes will throw another bullpen Wednesday and could face hitters by the weekend, but Girardi said the process will be similar to spring training. Hughes still has to build arm strength, go on a rehab assignment and make multiple starts before he’ll be ready to return to the big leagues.

“Do you need six starts (like in spring training)?” Girardi said. “I don’t know, but you’re going to need at least, I would say, four or five. At least. So when you’re coming into a game, and you’re coming to helps us, you’re not going three innings and then we got to go to somebody else.

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Phil will throw a bullpen session today, and proceed to pitch batting practice in Anaheim if everything goes well. With no concrete date of his return set in stone, it’s just a matter of taking it slow and bringing him back at full strength. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have both done a fine job holding their own in the rotation while he’s been out, so there’s no need to rush him.

Hughes is 0-1 with a 13.94ERA over 10.1 innings this season (last pitched on April 14th).

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