Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/17/12

The New York Yankees are not expecting closer Mariano Rivera to return until next season, but Rivera said he wants to return this year.

Rivera, 42, tore his anterior-cruciate ligament on May 3, but did not have surgery until June 12. Rivera is still operating under the assumption that he probably won't be back this season. But the New York Post reported last week that his recovery was ahead of schedule, and Rivera said on a radio show on Monday that he is not ruling out a September return this year.

"That's my goal," Rivera said on ESPN radio. "Definitely, that's my goal. I'm not thinking about it, because if it doesn't happen, I will be disappointed. So I'm taking it day by day. I'm working hard and doing what I'm supposed to do. I don't want to put something in my mind.

"I want to make sure that I do my things first. That's what I'm doing, that's the way I'm thinking. Day by day, positive, optimism. Whatever the Lord will allow to happen, that will happen."

He said he can't guarantee he'll be pitching to Major League batters this season.

"I don't know," Rivera said. "I don't know. I can't answer that. I want to. I want to be there now. Only God knows."

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