Yankees' Hughes to begin season on DL

New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes will start the regular season on the disabled list, manager Joe Girardi confirmed on Wednesday.

Hughes has been working his way back from a bulging disk in his upper back, an injury which sidelined him early in camp. He pitched three innings last week against the Pirates' Class A affiliate, but has not made a single appearance during Grapefruit League play.

He is eligible to return on April 6, but Girardi said its more likely he will aim for an April 11 debut.

With Hughes out, Ivan Nova and David Phelps are expected to fill out the Yankees' starting rotation, which also features CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte.