Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 5/3/12
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera emphatically stated Friday that a torn ACL in his right knee will not spell the end of his Hall of Fame career. "I'm coming back. Write it down in big letters. I'm not going out like this," Rivera told reporters Friday in Kansas City. The 42-year-old all-time saves leader hinted before the season that 2012 would be his final campaign. The knee injury is likely to prevent him from pitching again this season, though the team has not yet given a timetable for his recovery. He also was diagnosed with a torn meniscus. "To come back this season is very unlikely," Dr. David Geier, director of sports medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, told the New York Post. "Spring training or a little before is probably the best-case scenario." Rivera, who routinely shags fly balls before games, was going after a ball in center field when the his knee appeared to give out. He stumbled then crashed into the wall. Rivera fell to the ground and could be seen grabbing his leg and writhing in pain on the warning track. Rivera was helped onto a cart and taken off the field as the Yankees' coaches and players looked on in disbelief. An emotional Rivera refused to speculate after the Yankees' 4-3 loss to the Royals on Thursday about whether he had possibly thrown his last pitch. He lamented that he had "let the team down," but expressed no regrets about his pregame outfield ritual. "If it's gonna happen like that, at least let it happen doing what I love, you know," Rivera said. "And shagging, I love to do. If I had to do it over again, I would do it again. No hesitation. There's reasons why it happens. You have to take it the way it is and fight, fight through it." On the mound, the legendary reliever continues to look nothing like a player close to retirement, with five saves and a 2.16 ERA this season. His ERA was below 2.00 for the past four seasons.
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