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Paulino joins Duffy in taking steps back to mound

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Felipe Paulino threw off the mound on Tuesday morning for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on July 3. He threw 20 pitches, all fastballs.

"First time on the mound, you're so glad to be there after all the work you've gone through. To throw 20 fastballs is a pretty exciting feeling," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's a big step for Paulino, after all the hard work."

Danny Duffy, who underwent Tommy John surgery prior to Paulino on June 13 , has thrown several times in camp, and joined Paulino in throwing a side session. He was ecstatic afterward.

"I'm ready to pitch!" Duffy said.

Not so fast. He's not expected back until around the All-Star break.

"He looked unbelievable," Yost said. "He's pretty close. I watched the side and told him, 'Just take it slow.' But his side session was very good."

Duffy threw about 30 pitches and likely will begin throwing breaking balls in his next session.

Left-hander George Sherrill, a non-roster reliever who had Tommy John last May 4, also threw and did well, mixing in some changeups.