NEW YORK -- All systems are go for Ricky Nolasco, who passed another round of drills to test his injured right knee this afternoon and said he plans to start Saturday in Atlanta.
But Nolasco said he'll tread carefully, and if he starts to detect any problems with the knee, he'll shut it down the rest of the season. Manager Edwin Rodriguez said the only way that Nolasco would not start is if swelling develops from Thursday's workout at Citi Field.
"Obviously I'm happy with the way I passed all the tests," Nolasco said. "I didn't expect it to get better so quickly. But if anything comes up, I've got to be smart about it and not risk anything."
Nolasco jogged forwards and backwards and performed fielding drills on Thursday. He said everything went well, except for jogging backwards, "which I'll try to stay away from."
"I was a little surprised, honestly," Nolasco said. "I thought this was going to be the toughest part, getting off the mound. As soon as I got through with the first one (fielding a bunt), I realized I was fine."
Nolasco said he's sure his knee injury will be in the back of his mind when he takes the mound in Atlanta.