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Hughes' back improving

Phil Hughes reacts after walking Josh Willingham to

Phil Hughes reacts after walking Josh Willingham to load the bases in the 2nd inning. (July 22, 2011) Photo Credit: David Pokress

Phil Hughes reported improvement in his lower back inflammation after he received an epidural injection Wednesday. He hopes to start one of the Yankees' final games of the regular season next week at Tampa Bay.

Hughes said the Yankees are being ultra-cautious with the injury, which is related to a herniated disc he suffered in 2004. With the postseason around the corner, the epidural was a way to rush healing.

"The epidural wasn't necessarily needed," he said. "It sounds bad because it's associated with childbirth, but it was two minutes, I was in and out. No problems."

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