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Yankees closer Mariano Rivera throws first batting practice

February 22, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Yankees closer Mariano Rivera works out at spring training in Tampa, Fla.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera works out at spring training in Tampa, Fla. (Matt Slocum / Associated…)

Most 43-year-olds are happy to trot out to the pitching mound and toss some batting practice to their children. If you're Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, taking the mound for BP after returning from a torn knee ligament is a bit more meaningful.

Rivera threw 25 pitches Friday during batting practice in Tampa, Fla., his first extended time on the mound since surgery last June to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Ironically, he injured the knee shagging fly balls during a batting practice.

"He looked great," Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. "Looked like what you'd expect him to look like, which is a good thing."

The 12-time all-star, who has 608 saves plus a record 42 more in the postseason, expects to throw another BP session or two before taking part in a simulated game. Then comes exhibition games.

"It feels great to be on the mound," said Rivera, who appeared in only nine games last season. "Basically, just wanted to see hitters. I'm excited. Build up, and we'll go from there."

The Yankees are scheduled to open the season April 1, hosting the Boston Red Sox.

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