- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

FORT MYERS, FLA. (AP) - Minnesota’s Joe Nathan is moving closer to regaining his closer role, throwing outside off a mound for the first time since reconstructive right elbow surgery nearly a year ago.

Nathan said he felt great after Wednesday’s session. He had a ligament replacement procedure done last March and missed the entire 2010 season, but the 36-year-old four-time All-Star is back on track this spring.

This was his first day the Twins’ training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., after mostly working out in Knoxville, Tenn., where he and his family have their winter home. Pitchers and catchers have their first official workout on Friday.

Pitching coach Rick Anderson said Nathan looked “outstanding.” Anderson told him it was “about the smoothest and easiest” he’s seen his arm.

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