Phil Hughes out with back spasms?

Updated: September 21, 2011, 9:57 AM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes may miss his Wednesday afternoon start due to lingering pain associated with back spasms.

Hughes first suffered the spasms after throwing a bullpen session last Friday. He was scratched from his scheduled start Monday and manager Joe Girardi tentatively penciled him in to start the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hughes was examined by team trainer Gene Monahan on Tuesday evening. Afterward, Girardi said he was unsure if the 25-year-old would be available for Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader.

"I'm still going to have a little hope that he can (start Wednesday)," Girardi said after the Yankees' 5-0 win over the Rays on Tuesday. "We'll see how he feels in the morning and then go from there; we're just going to wait. If he can't start the first game, he can't start, and we'll figure it out."

If Hughes can't go, rookie reliever Hector Noesi may get the call. Noesi is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 28 appearances.

"We have some candidates down there but I'm still holding out a little hope that Hughes is ready," Girardi said.

The fifth-year starter is believed to be suffering from the after-effects of the spasms he felt last Friday.

"It's not the best time to have them but you've got to deal with them. ... There's not much we can do," Girardi said.

Hughes is 5-4 with a 4.67 ERA in 11 starts following a nearly three-month stint on the disabled list. He was placed on the DL with a mysterious right shoulder inflammation that sapped his fastball velocity earlier in the year.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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