Richards tore the patellar tendon in his left knee in August and the team said he would be out for six to nine months. Opening Day is a little more than seven months after the injury.
Scioscia said in December that he didn't expect Richards to be return by Opening Day, but Richards said in February that he was hopeful he would be able to be ready by then after his rehab progressed more quickly than expected.
"I think he’s transitioning, getting close to what a regular spring training would be," Scioscia said Sunday, according to the Orange County Register. "They haven’t fully taken all the reins off him, but you can kind of project. He’s going to be two or three weeks behind some guys. You get a window to where you can expect him during the season."
Richards threw a bullpen session on Sunday, his fifth of the spring, and said, "It felt really good." His first bullpen of the spring was on Feb. 16.
Richards, 26, was 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 26 starts last season. He had a 4.4 WAR, according to Baseball Reference.
The Angels won the AL West last season but were swept by the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS.
- Dan Gartland