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Luis Severino Takes 'Another Good Step' Toward Return, Faces Live Hitters

NEW YORK — Luis Severino's road back to the Bronx after last year's Tommy John surgery is nearly complete.

The right-hander faced hitters on the mound at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon, a big step in the right direction after last month's setback (a groin strain while pitching in a rehab assignment).

"I thought he threw the ball really well," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Severino's sim game. "Looks strong, healthy, which I think syncs up with everything the first go around before he hurt his leg."

Boone went on to call Severino's outing crisp, revealing the right-hander tossed 30 pitches, showcasing the fact that he's in good physical shape. 

It was Severino's first time facing hitters since he suffered a Grade 1 groin strain, hobbling off the mound while pitching for High-A Hudson Valley last month. That injury halted all progress that Severino had made in his buildup since his throwing program began this spring. 

As for Severino's next steps, Boone said Severino will throw another simulated game in the next five or six days.

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"Then, we'll see if we need to do another," Boone added. "Or at that point, hopefully, start a rehab."

Throwing only 30 pitches, Severino still has a ways to go before his arm is ready for a starter's workload. Earlier this year, Boone has alluded to bringing the right-hander back before he's completely built up, slowly adding more innings at the big-league level.

That plan is fluid for now. Boone is more focused on the "important" step his ace-caliber hurler took on his arduous road to recovery.

"That'll be something that we decide if he's at 50, 60, 70 pitches, there's a chance he could be here at that point," Boone explained. "I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves in that regard. We'll see where we're at three and four and five weeks from now."

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