Mariano Rivera: Yankees Closer Could Reportedly Return from Injury This Season

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 10, 2012

If there's one thing we've learned about New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera throughout the years, it's that we should never count him out.

Since Rivera tore his ACL on May 3 while going after fly balls in batting practice, he has been rehabbing extensively.

One man who has been working with him, Dr. Keith Pyne, believes Rivera has what it takes to return this season.

Pyne told the New York Post that Rivera "will be in the best position to accomplish that goal [pitching this year]. He’s got everything it takes to accomplish that. ... If I was putting money on it, I would put my money on Mo."

Rivera is one of the most durable and consistent closers in history, which is one of the reasons he had recorded at least 28 saves in the past 15 seasons before this year. The 12-time All-Star and five-time world champion has made a living out of being well prepared to take the mound.

That's why, despite whispers that Rivera would retire from baseball after undergoing surgery in June, there may still be a chance he not only returns for the Yankees, but returns this season.

Pyne added that Rivera's genetics and conditioning bode well for the 42-year-old:

For me there is biological age and chronological age. I don’t see Mariano Rivera’s biological age as 42. He is mechanically and physically not a 42-year-old. He has the genetics of a much, much younger guy. This is not his last season. I cannot make the determination [of the exact date he will return]. But physically he will be able to do whatever it takes to pitch again.

Although Rafael Soriano has done a marvelous job taking over for Rivera this season (1.60 ERA, 20 saves, one blown), there's no question Rivera strikes fear into the hearts of batters in the playoffs more than anyone. He owns a 0.70 ERA in 141 career postseason innings, along with 42 saves.

Leave it up to Rivera to shock the world once again.


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