By Eric Schmidt

Despite already throwing pitches in batting practice, New York Yankees veteran relief pitcher Mariano Rivera wanted to see how his surgically repair knee would hold up in game conditions. Rivera got his wish on Friday when he threw 18 pitches in a simulated game and came away pleased with his progress. Three times he had to come off the mound and he told reporters after his session that he felt great about his outing.

“That’s what I wanted to do, field some bunts, go after some balls in between first and the mound, and just plant and throw. It feels good guys, it feels really good. It was perfect,” Rivera told reporters after his session.

Rivera’s outing was not the only good news for the Yankees on Friday. SP C.C. Sabathia threw 46 pitches as well and came away satisfied that his elbow recovery is right on schedule. Neither Sabathia or Rivera are not expected to pitch in any spring training games soon, but both pitchers believe they are close to being ready barring any major setbacks.

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