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Rivera plans to hit Yanks camp earlier than usual


NEW YORK -- Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is preparing for a rare on-time arrival at Spring Training this year.

Rivera, 43, has historically been granted as much leeway as needed in nudging his first appearance past the rest of the Yankees' pitchers and catchers, but he said Monday that he is looking forward to the official report date of Feb. 12.

"This time, I'm going to show up at the right time," Rivera said. "It's going to be great. I can't wait to go there."

Rivera said that his rehab from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament is proceeding well, and his throwing program included some tosses Monday.

"I've thrown a little bit, I'm running," Rivera said. "I'm doing what I can do in this kind of weather. Once I get there [to Florida], the weather will be better and the time will be right to start pushing the legs. I have six more weeks to get ready, so I have full confidence that everything will be fine."

While spotting Rivera in the first days of Spring Training will seem out of the ordinary, the all-time saves leader said he doesn't plan to alter his light spring workload, which typically amounts to a handful of Grapefruit League appearances and absolutely no road trips.

"I'll be doing the same thing. I don't need to [pitch more]," Rivera said. "If I need extra, I will do extra, and if I don't -- I will make sure that I do what I need to do; be in shape and be ready to go."

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