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Mariano Rivera slated to pitch Saturday against Braves

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Will we soon see No. 42 pitching in a game? (Getty Images)

Mariano Rivera's long-awaited return to the mound will happen soon.

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Yankees manager Joe Girardi left it up to the future Hall of Famer whether he would take the mound during a Wednesday exhibition against the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team. However, that Rivera wasn't on the Yankees' list of pitchers for Wednesday suggests that the Yankee closer is taking the cautious route. All of this means that Rivera, barring setback, will return to game action on Saturday against the Braves. The Yankees will be on the road Thursday and Friday, and Rivera doesn't travel with the team during spring training.

Rivera, 43, is working his way back from a major knee injury suffered a month into the 2012 season. He hasn't seen game action since. Hoch notes that Rivera threw one simulated inning on Sunday and afterward indicated he's ready to take the next step.

Rivera is the all-time saves leader with 608, and for his career he owns an unthinkable ERA+ of 206.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook. Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: @MattSnyder27, @daynperry and @mikeaxisa.

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