Yankees fans may have seen the last of Mariano Rivera.
The greatest closer in baseball history may be lost for the season after he tore his ACL in his right knee while shagging fly balls in the outfield prior to Thursday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals.
When Rivera was asked if he will ever enter through the outfield gates and onto a baseball mound again, he said: “At this point, I don’t know. We have to face this first,” according to the Yankees website.
Rivera, 42, also noted that he has a partially torn meniscus. His career may now be in jeopardy.
“Mo means so much to all of us on a personal level,” third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. “Obviously there’s a significance on the field, on the mound with his presence. The bottom line is we’re the New York Yankees. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us.”
This is uncharted territory for the Yankees, who’ve had Rivera as a security blanket for the past 16 seasons.
Rehab for a torn ACL can take up to 12 months, according to reports.
The injury occurred during batting practice when Rivera was grabbing fly balls in the outfield—something he’s done his entire career.
Newly called-up outfielder Jayson Nix hit a ball near the warning track and Rivera went for the ball and his knee buckled.
Rivera fell to the ground and appeared to be withering in pain as he clutched his right knee.
The News reported that Rivera will meet with Yankees physician Dr. Chris Ahmad next week and discuss his options, which may include surgery.
Rivera said he will stay with the team until the club heads back home next week.
Rivera, who has the most saves in baseball history, 608, appeared in nine games this year, posting a 2.16 ERA with eight strikeouts. Rivera has been perfect since blowing a save on Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The closer’s contract is up after this season, and he said during spring training that he has his mind made up concerning his future, but he has been coy about what he will be do.