Dallas Braden cleared to begin throwing off a mound

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Oakland left-hander Dallas Braden made only three starts last season before requiring surgery in May to repair a torn capsule in his throwing shoulder. He’s hoping for a far better experience in 2012.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Braden will throw off a mound Monday for the first time since going under the knife. He’s been playing regular games of catch since September and should be near 100 percent fitness by Opening Day.

Braden posted a 3.50 ERA and 1.16 WHIP across 192 2/3 innings in 2010. He owns a 4.16 career ERA.