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Mariano Rivera Injury: Updates on Yankees Star's Recovery

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Mariano Rivera Injury: Updates on Yankees Star's Recovery
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Mariano Rivera is well on his way to returning for the 2013 MLB season, as the New York Yankees reliever pitched an inning in a simulated contest Thursday morning.

According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, Rivera took to the mound and tossed 18 pitches, while also doing his first fielding work of spring training.

The 43-year-old began throwing to batters a week ago, but was untested with his glove. He was required to make three plays in the inning, covering first on a bunt, fielding a bunt towards first and stopping a dribbler near the mound.

Rivera underwent surgery on a torn ACL on his right knee a bit over 10 months ago and seems to be rehabilitating at a pace he is pleased with. He told the gathered media in Tampa (via Matthews):

"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 real good. It was perfect."

If Mo continues his progress, he should be ready in time for Opening Day. It will be his 19th season in the big leagues, but the legendary closer will likely still be a force to be reckoned with.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In 1,051 appearances—beginning all the way back in 1995—Rivera pitched 1,219.2 innings, struck out 1,119 batters and recorded 608 saves.

As the MLB's all-time saves leader, Mo is a surefire Hall of Famer once he retires and will be remembered as one of the most feared pitchers in history.

The 12-time All-Star had his 2012 campaign cut short when he was preparing to catch a routine fly ball against the Kansas City Royals on May 3. He underwent surgery for the torn ACL shortly after on June 12.

Many initially thought that it may be the end of his storied career, but the five-time World Series winner vowed to return for another season

Barring any setbacks in spring training, it seems he is going to keep that promise.

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