Phil Hughes’ simulated game nearly resulted in a real injury.

The right-hander took a comebacker off his back in the first of his two innings yesterday at the Yankees’ minor league complex. Hughes was fine, but it was a closer call than he would have liked.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Hughes said with a laugh after he emerged from the 41-pitch outing unscathed. “It was a good test for it.”

Hughes is coming back from two bulging disks in his back and the ball, hit by minor leaguer David Adams, hit him lower than where Hughes was hurt. Overall, the session was another positive step in his attempt to be healthy in time for the start of the regular season.

So far, Hughes has impressed pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

“I don’t think it’s bothering him at all,” said Rothschild, who, along with manager Joe Girardi watched Hughes. “Before this [injury] came up, he was at a point where he was throwing the ball really well — as good as I’ve seen him — and I think he’s a little frustrated because he wants to be where he was before it happened right now. And it’s going to take a little bit of time. He’s not that far off.”