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Right-hander Pelfrey rehabbing ahead of schedule

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Monday marked the first day of live batting practice for Twins pitchers and catchers, and no one was more pleased to participate than right-hander Mike Pelfrey.

Pelfrey, who had Tommy John surgery on May 1, remains ahead of schedule and threw 38 pitches in a live bullpen session against Drew Butera, Wilkin Ramirez and Chris Colabello. He estimated that he also threw about 40 more pitches off the mound to warm up.

"I forgot how much fun that was," Pelfrey said. "It had been a long time. That was my reward for busting my butt the last nine-and-a-half months. I had a blast out there and wanted to keep going. I felt great. It surprised me how well the ball was coming out of my hand."

The former Met said he's feeling good enough that he'll be on the same schedule as the rest of the pitchers in camp, and he's set to throw again on Wednesday and on Friday. He threw all of his pitches in his bullpen session -- without the use of the protective L-screen -- and was generally pleased with the exception of his slider, which he didn't throw for a strike.

Pelfrey also maintained that'll he'll be ready for the start of the season. The Twins open against the Tigers on April 1 at 3:10 p.m. CT.

"I'm going to be ready," he said. "I guess it's hard for some people to believe, maybe. But I feel great. There are some doctors who are a little more aggressive. Dr. James Andrews is that way, and that's who I went to. So I have no doubt in my mind that Opening Day, I'll be on the team."

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