Bombers bits

• Girardi said right-hander Phil Hughes, who revealed Wednesday that he had a bulging disk in his upper back that will keep him sidelined for about two weeks, was feeling better Thursday. Hughes is still taking anti-inflammatory medication and isn't expected to progress to the next step of his recovery, working out in a pool, for a few more days.

"Good sign for me," Girardi said.

• Right-hander Mark Montgomery, who had been sidelined with back spasms but began throwing, was also feeling "much better," according to Girardi. Montgomery has been playing catch since Tuesday.

• Girardi joked again Thursday about the idea of designated hitter Travis Hafner playing the field. Hafner hasn't been doing any defensive drills, and Girardi said it would have to be an "emergency, emergency situation" for Hafner to put on a glove in a game. Hafner hasn't played defense since 2007 due to an arthritic right elbow, and Girardi quipped that the only gloves the 35-year-old slugger will need are batting gloves.

"When we do fielding drills, he goes to the cage," Girardi said. "He's a DH."

• With the Yankees' Grapefruit League schedule beginning Saturday with a road trip to face the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the Bombers will have a shorter workout Friday.