Mariano Rivera Injury: Is This the Last We've Seen of New York Yankees Closer?

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IMay 3, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30:  Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during their game on April 30, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Mariano Rivera may have suffered a serious injury while shagging fly balls for the New York Yankees prior to their game against the Kansas City Royals, according to Bryan Hoch at

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was carted off the field at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday after appearing to suffer a right knee injury shagging fly balls during batting practice.

Immediately, this doesn't sound so great and while nothing is confirmed yet, one has to think the worst based on how Rivera injured his knee.

Shagging fly balls isn't exactly a strenuous thing and according to the same report by Hoch, Rivera is a regular in the outfield for batting practice.

Rivera regularly shags fly balls in center field during batting practice and has spoken about hoping to play the position in a game before he retires.

Anyone who knows knee injuries is well aware that when you drop like Rivera reportedly did without any contact, the injury could be of the dreaded ACL variety.

It appeared Rivera was unable to put any pressure on the knee and had to be loaded onto a cart just to help him off the field. If it is indeed an ACL injury, Rivera will certainly be finished for the remainder of the season.

If Rivera is on the shelf for an extended period of time, the Bombers do have a good amount of depth in the 'pen to help soften the blow, but clearly, there is nobody on Earth who can replace what Rivera can do at the end of games.

Let's just hope for the best and with the possibility of Rivera retiring at the end of the season, we as baseball fans can especially hope this isn't the last we've seen of Mo.

According to USA Today, the YES Network is reporting that Rivera is on his way to an area hospital to get an MRI and although the initial diagnosis isn't bad, that doesn't mean Rivera is out of the woods yet.

The YES Network reported that the initial diagnosis was a twisted right knee, though Rivera was on his way to a Kansas City-area hospital for an MRI. YES reported that Rivera was examined by medical personnel from the Yankees and the Royals.

Stay tuned for the latest as this situation develops.