Throwing off the mound in a 30-pitch bullpen session, New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera looked nearly flawless. Rivera, recovering from knee surgery and wearing protective brace on his repaired right knee looked sharp but the reliever told reporters that he is taking his rehab one day at a time, not overdoing things as spring training starts.
Rivera likely won’t see any game action until mid-March and has been excused from all road games this spring until he returns to the lineup on a regular basis. “There’s no rush. We have a long, long, long spring training. I want to take every day one day at a time.”
The all-time Yankees save leader doesn’t doubt his throwing ability but is looking forward to testing out his knee in game situations when he has to react to live situations such as fielding. “I will be looking for the games. The reason why is because you have to react there: bunting, comebackers, cover first, all that stuff. You can’t think, you have to react. That will be, I would say, the biggest test,” said Rivera.
Barring any setbacks this spring, Rivera is scheduled to be the Yankees closer on Opening Day.