Yankees' Rivera to rest one more day, throw Friday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, out since Aug. 31 with a muscle strain near his right elbow, will get one more day of rest before testing his arm again.

Rivera is to throw Friday in Baltimore, manager Joe Torre said Wednesday before New York closed a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals.

Rivera has not pitched since Aug. 31 against Detroit.

"With the off day Thursday, we just figured we would wait the extra day and see where we are," Torre said.

Torre said he did not know whether Rivera will be limited to playing catch on Friday or whether he would throw pitches.

"He hasn't been away that long that he couldn't pitch," Torre said. "He's very important for us. As long as it's getting better, the ability to get it all the way well is probably our priority."

The 36-year-old Rivera is 5-5 with 33 saves in 36 chances and a 1.90 ERA.

On Wednesday, he said he did not know whether he would pitch against the Orioles.

"We get there on Friday and we play until Monday," he said. "Maybe. I don't know. I don't want to tell you yes and you get on my butt saying, 'You told me that ...'"

Whenever he does return, Rivera said, he doesn't expect to be rusty.

"It's not like I haven't pitched for a long time," he said.

The pain is not a problem while Rivera is on the mound, Torre said.

"The last report he gave me when he did pitch is that he doesn't feel it when he pitches," Torre said. "It's afterward that he has the discomfort -- although when he had the tightness the other day, when he tried to throw, we have to get by that first, too."

New York, the AL East leader, began the night 3-2 since Rivera last pitched. Only one of those games was decided by fewer than five runs.

"We've been winning some games without him," Torre said. "Nobody is deluded enough to think that that's what we can do in the future."