Mariano Rivera throws 18 pitches

Updated: February 28, 2013, 8:03 PM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mariano Rivera pitched an inning of a simulated game Thursday morning and came away more pleased by the balls he caught than by the ones he threw.

"What do you guys think, huh?" Rivera asked a group of reporters who watched his 18-pitch session on the back field at George Steinbrenner Field. "How was the fielding?"

Rivera had already thrown to hitters last week, but had yet to field a ball off the mound, one of the last hurdles in his recovery from surgery ...

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