If Phil Hughes can’t post the first trip through the rotation, Ivan Nova would have to turn into Jeff Juden to not make the Yankees’ Opening Day roster.

Nevertheless, if Hughes’ back issue doesn’t land him on the disabled list, then Nova and David Phelps will compete for the fifth spot in manager Joe Girardi’s rotation.

The loser could land in the bullpen as a long reliever and spot starter. Or he could be sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start.

Nova, who has won 28 games in two big league seasons, made his spring debut yesterday at a cold George M. Steinbrenner Field and made up some of the ground Phelps had taken by hurling five scoreless innings in two starts.