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Duffy throws from mound, takes major step forward

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Danny Duffy took a major step toward his return to the Royals' pitching staff on Tuesday, throwing from the mound for the first time since his Tommy John surgery.

Duffy threw 18 pitches to bullpen catcher Bill Duplissea during the Royals' first official workout for pitchers and catchers.

"It went really well," Duffy said. "I'm really happy with where my effort was and I was surprised at how under control I was. It felt really good. It was really exciting after a whole year of not pitching."

Duffy, who underwent surgery last June, will rest about three days before throwing again.

Duffy and fellow starter Felipe Paulino, who had a similar surgery, are expected to be ready around midseason.

"You cannot get enough starting pitching because, over the course of a year, something is going to happen and you're always going to need it," manager Ned Yost said. "What Duffy and Paulino are is just great insurance policies that are a benefit to us around the All-Star break. But it's nothing to worry about right now. Trust me. I am extremely pleased that we have them both out there and they'll be available around the All-Star break."