Rivera throws off mound

Updated: March 6, 2009, 11:34 AM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mariano Rivera threw off a mound Thursday for the first time since offseason shoulder surgery, and the New York Yankees closer expects to be ready for Opening Day.

Rivera, who had surgery Oct. 7 on the AC joint in his right shoulder, threw 15 pitches halfway up the mound and 15 more from the rubber at 85 to 90 percent power.

"I'm real pleased," Rivera said. "The big thing [Friday] is how I feel. I expect good things."

The right-hander hopes to make his spring ...

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