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Mariano Rivera expected to miss rest of season with torn ACL in right knee

May 4, 2012, 12:40 AM EDT

Mariano Rivera

UPDATE: Mariano Rivera addressed reporters a short while ago, confirming that he has a torn ACL in his right knee and also hinted that there is damage to his meniscus.

Rivera was quite emotional throughout, particularly after being asked whether he’ll attempt to come back from the injury or call it a career (via Bryan Hoch of

“At this point, I don’t know,” Rivera said, repeating softly, “At this point, I don’t know. I have to face this first.”

11:37 PM: Uh-oh. According to Bryan Hoch of, Mariano Rivera was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee.

It’s being called a “preliminary report” and Rivera will travel back to New York to see team doctors, but he will almost certainly miss the rest of the season. Just awful. Let’s hope he doesn’t go out like this.

8:10 PM: YES Network has posted video of the injury. Check it out if you want to be thoroughly depressed.

7:54 PM: This is extremely preliminary, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Rivera was diagnosed with a “twisted right knee” after being examined by a Royals’ associate physician and Yankees trainers.

We’ll know something more definitive after he undergoes an MRI tonight.

7:35 PM: Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey told Sweeny Murti of WFAN that Rivera indeed slipped on the warning track while shagging fly balls on the warning track.

They actually just showed the replay of the injury on the YES broadcast and well, it doesn’t look good at all. We’re still awaiting official word on the exact nature of the injury.

7:27 PM: Troubling news for the Yankees.

According to Erik Boland of New York Newsday, Mariano was carted off the field after suffering an apparent injury to his right knee during batting practice. Sweeny Murti of WFAN reports that the injured occurred when Rivera was shagging fly balls.

Daniel Barbasi of the Wall Street Journal reports that Rivera was “smiling and laughing” as he was being carted off, but that the all-time saves leader needed to be helped into the Yankees clubhouse by manager Joe Girardi and wasn’t putting any weight on his right leg. We’ll pass along an update as soon as it’s made available.

Rivera, who has hinted at retirement following 2012, has a 2.16 ERA, five saves and an 8/2 K/BB ratio over 8 1/3 innings of work this season. The 42-year-old right-hander hasn’t had a stint on the disabled list since 2003.

  1. randygnyc - May 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Watching batting practice show on yes, I haven’t heard anything yet.

  2. proudlycanadian - May 3, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    I wish him well. He has been a class act throughout his career.

    Condolences to the Yankees and the injury bug that has hit them.

    Condolences to fantasy baseball team owners as another closer hits the dust.

    • bigharold - May 3, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      The Yankees will be OK. Injuries happen to all teams. If it had to happen, the earlier the better. It looked bad but considering that he was sort of smiling getting carted off you hope for the best.

      I can’t help wonder though, .. had this been Chamberlain getting hurt shagging flies the all the “what the hell was he thinking” comments that would have be ricocheting around right about now.

      I guess Robertson gets a hint of what’s in store for him.

  3. randygnyc - May 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Just saw the replay on MLB. Right knee buckles in, badly. Very ugly.

  4. SmackSaw - May 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Olney tweeted that it looked terrible.

  5. weaselpuppy - May 3, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    it did, he collapsed in a heap grabbing his right knee and screaming…5 min later they dead lifted him into the cart, he didn’t even get up to kneeling….looks bad….

  6. daisycutter1 - May 3, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Oh no. I’m going to be sick.

  7. mybrunoblog - May 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Man where do I start. Mo means so much to the yanks in so many ways. Gotta pray it is just a bad sprain but I fear it is worse. Silver lining could be that it is early May so if the knee injury is serious he has months for surgery/rehab….Godspeed Mo.

  8. O.Handwasher - May 3, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    I’ve done a bit of that smiling and laughing after tearing up a knee doing nothing particularly exciting. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the absurdity of the frailty of the human body. But it doesn’t mean he’ll be back this season.

  9. Ben - May 3, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    God it would be awful if this is what ended his career.

  10. yanks33 - May 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Yankees really cant catch a break lately…looks like Robertson is gonna get his chance to close games

  11. hammyofdoom - May 3, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    This better not be the way that Mariano Rivera’s career ends. It’s never been fun to watch the Red Sox face him (minus 04 of course) but honestly I never want to see a future Hall of Famer go down like that. I hope him the best and that its just a sprain or something that’ll keep him out for a few months…but from the sounds of it, that’s being very optimistic at this point.

    • hammyofdoom - May 3, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      Of course that was before the initial prognosis was “twisted knee”. I’ve had a lot of crap happen to my knees, but twisting tends to not send me to the ground screaming in pain. We’ll see

  12. SmackSaw - May 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    42 year old knees don’t get better. Why in the hell is he shagging flys? He should be on a stationary bike. I never saw Nolan Ryan shagging flys. This is why.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - May 3, 2012 at 8:56 PM

      He’s done this for 15 years. I’m not going to question him now.

      • ssazz - May 3, 2012 at 9:49 PM

        Yeah, his teammates for most of his career have said he’s probably the best athlete on the team.They always talk about the fact that he’d be a great center fielder since he’s been shagging balls out there for most of his career during BP. Always feilded his position brilliantly as well.

        This looks to be a fluke thing. Potentially a heartbreaking one… but I’m hopeful it’s not his season.

        I remember his first postseason appearances against the Mariners in ’95 like it was yesterday. He’d been up and down as a starter early in his career that first season, but they put him in the pen because of his electric fastball for the playoffs. And it wasn’t the up-the-ladder, blowing them away with the 97mph high heat that registered as much as the fact that this kid had ice-water in his veins. Plus he made it look so effortless to throw that hard. It’s been nothing but a privilege to watch his entire career since.

        Get well quick Mo!!

      • ssazz - May 3, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        I meant to add that Mo had even joked many times in recent seasons that before his career is over he wanted to play at least an inning in the OF.

        Lets just get him back on a mound this year, I’ll settle for that now instead.

  13. randygnyc - May 3, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Warning frack dirt is very similar to tennis court clay, where players slide into their last stride. No was shagging fly balls in sneakers, not spikes. I suppose this will end that practice.

  14. royalsfaninfargo - May 3, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Watching the game on MLB.TV and they showed the injury. It looked pretty ugly. At least from the looks, it looks worse than Gamel’s. Hope it isnt, Mo is a class act and great player.

  15. pcaisnipe - May 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I hope he’s out for the season. Probably just day to day.

  16. dan7800 - May 3, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    This guy is the greatest closer of all time. Classy as they come. Period.

    You should be ashamed of yourself if you wish this to be a serious injury.

  17. allday296 - May 3, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    As a mets fan I expect these types of injuries in Flushing. Weird to see it happen the other way around. Hate to see such a class act like that. Hope it’s minor as baseball is better with Mariano. Good luck MO. He could probably close dominantly into his fifties if he wanted to.

  18. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - May 3, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    tiger fan here. we never touch this guy, and he dominates us (we’re not alone, obv). that said, as a baseball fan first i hope this isn’t as bad as it looked. guy is just about the perfect player, and he deserves better. get well soon, mo. i want to see that cutter carve someone up again.

  19. Walk - May 3, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    You do not need to be a yankees fan to recognise mo’s achievements. Hopefully he recovers soon.

  20. Glenn - May 3, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I kind of thought it would be a lightening bolt, or old age after the greatest age-70 pitcher season ever. This Sox fan thinks he’ll be back and better than ever sooner than later.

  21. allday296 - May 3, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Good point Glenn! He probably will be better if that’s even possible

  22. hcf95688 - May 3, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Bummer. Seems like a nice guy. Still, if its bad for the Yankees, I’m in favor of it.

    • bigharold - May 3, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      “… if its bad for the Yankees, I’m in favor of it.”

      You Sir are entitled to your opinion.

      The Yankees AND Rivera Will survive!! If ANYBODY thinks this is the end of the season for Rivera, .. then you are likely to be disappointed!

      • hcf95688 - May 3, 2012 at 11:45 PM

        Back this season? Wanna bet?

  23. cur68 - May 3, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    I was looking forward to seeing Mo on Saturday. I hope this is minor, but I think he’ll be out for at least a week. Jeez.

    Well, good luck with the knee, Mo. Get well soon.

  24. randygnyc - May 3, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Torn ACL. (the only silver lining is that the Yankees still have the best relief pitcher in all of baseball available to close). Sorry MO.

  25. sabatimus - May 3, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Bad for Mo, good for rest of AL.

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