Mariano Rivera’s season may be in jeopardy, but the Yankees closer vowed that he would come back to baseball by 2013, one day after seriously injuring his right knee.
During spring training Rivera told reporters that he had his mind made up concerning his future, but the pitcher never budged when asked if he was hinting at retiring. But the injury appears to have thrown a wrench into his plans, and now Rivera is planning on returning to the mound.
“I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this,” Rivera said, according to multiple reports. “This has me thinking, I can’t go down like this. If it takes two, three, four, five, seven more (seasons), whatever it takes.”
The Associated Press reported that Rivera went back to his hotel Thursday night and elected to continue his career.
But the remainder of the 2012 season will be nothing like the Yankees have been through since he took over the closing role in the mid-90s.
“Miracles happen,” Rivera said. “I’m a positive man. The only thing is that I feel sorry I let down my teammates. Besides that I’m OK.”
Rivera also noted on Thursday that he tore his meniscus. Rehab for both injuries can take up to a year, according to reports.
The injury occurred during batting practice when he was shagging fly balls like he does before every game. When newly called-up outfielder Jayson Nix hit a ball to the outfield wall, Rivera lunged for it but his knee buckled. The closer collapsed to the floor and withered in pain. He was seen grimacing as he clutched his right knee.
Rivera, who has the most saves in baseball history, 608, appeared in nine games this year, posting a 2.16 ERA with eight strikeouts. He has been perfect since blowing a save on Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays.
-With Associated Press