Yankees' pitcher Mariano Rivera warming up his arm during a...

Yankees' pitcher Mariano Rivera warming up his arm during a spring training workout. (Feb. 21, 2012) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Mariano Rivera faced teammates in live batting practice yesterday for the first time and should be ready to face opposing hitters within the week.

“Maybe one more and I’ll be ready to go,” Rivera said after a 30-pitch session in which Chris Dickerson took swings from the left side and Francisco Cervelli took his cuts from the right.

Rivera said “maybe” he can make his first appearance this weekend, though Joe Girardi said the closer likely will not throw another BP session until Thursday, meaning Friday would be out. Because Rivera does not make road trips in spring training, that would leave Sunday at home against Philadelphia in a split-squad game as a possibility, or next Monday or Tuesday nights, both at home.

“I was happy with today,” Rivera said. “Next one will be the big one. How you bounce back. But I’m optimistic. I feel good about it. We’ll be ready.”

He smiled.

“Hey, I was born ready.” 

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