Mariano Rivera ready for the next step

02/25/2013 11:53 AM ET
By Jon Lane

It continues to be all systems go for Mariano Rivera in his comeback from ACL surgery.(AP)
Mariano Rivera threw 32 pitches in a live batting practice session on Monday morning in Tampa, Fla. Rivera may be at least 10 days from pitching in a Spring Training game, but continues to feel good coming off ACL surgery.

"I don't feel nothing (in the knee)," Rivera said. "The big thing is going to be game situations. That's it. I don't think about it at all. I don't know if you guys have seen me run, I'm not even thinking about it. I'm running normal, like nothing ever happened."

Rivera is looking forward to the next step of throwing simulated games to practice fielding bunts and covering first base. He continues to wear a compression sleeve on his knee, but says he no longer thinks about the knee or any discomfort.

The Yankees' longtime closer and baseball's all-time saves leader with 608, Rivera was 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA and five saves before injuring his knee while shagging fly balls during batting practice last May in Kansas City. The 43-year-old right-hander agreed to a one-year contract to return to the Yankees in 2013 and is keeping plans about his future after the season quiet until sometime before Opening Day.

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