Garrett Richards cleared to begin throwing off a mound

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Garrett Richards saw his breakout season come to an unfortunate end last August when he tore the patellar tendon in his left knee, but he’s nearing an important step in his rehab process. According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Richards has received clearance to throw off a mound Monday for the first time since surgery.

Richards just began running with his full body weight this week and the Angels plan to take it easy with him early on in spring training. Still, it sounds like he has a good chance to be ready around the start of the season if all goes well.

“The fact he’s gone so quickly and had no setbacks is fantastic,” General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. “I couldn’t be any happier. We’re still going to be cautious as we go into Tempe. We’re not in a rush. We want him strong and healthy for the long season. We’re not going try to prove a point by having him ready by opening day. If it’s two weeks in, that’s fine too.”

Richards, 26, posted a 2.61 ERA and 164/51 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings across 26 starts last season.