For the second straight day, Phil Hughes was encouraged a throwing session didn’t leave him with any back discomfort.

“We amped up the intensity a bit and doubled the throws,’’ Hughes said following a 50-toss outing on flat ground at 60 feet at George M. Steinbrenner Field yesterday morning. “I didn’t feel anything. I felt like I lost a tick of arm strength. Hopefully that comes back quick, it’s only been two weeks. Hopefully I get that back and go from there.’’

Hughes hasn’t pitched off a mound since suffering a bulging disk while participating in a fielding drill on Feb. 18.

Hughes said last week if he is on the mound by March 14, there is enough time for him to avoid starting the season on the disabled list.

Because it’s only a tick of arm strength missing on flat ground tosses, Hughes isn’t concerned.

“Toward the end you feel that it’s not coming out as good as it was two weeks ago,’’ Hughes said. “I anticipated that happening. I am confident that the tiny bit I lost I will get back.’’

Hughes isn’t sure what the next chapter is but said it could involve moving from 60 feet to a long toss program.

“[Today] I am off and Wednesday I think some long toss at some point, but I am not 100 percent positive on that,’’ said Hughes, who said he has been pain free for five days.

* For an off day there was a lot of activity at GMS Field.