Rivera hasn’t ruled out a 2012 return

When the news came down that the great Mariano Rivera tore his ACL shagging flies in Kansas City it seemed like it might be the end of his career. After all, at age 42, an injury like that would be career threatening for most players. However, this is Mo who is in fantastic shape and he has not ruled out a possibility that he may return this year.

“That’s my goal,” Rivera told Michael Kay on his ESPNNewYork radio show Monday. “I don’t think about it because if it doesn’t happen, I will be kind of like disappointed. I take it day by day. I’m working hard and doing what I do. … That’s the way I’m thinking, day by day and positive, definitely. Optimism, positive. Whatever the Lord will allow to happen, will happen.”

Unfortunately it sounds as if Rivera is just getting his and our hopes up. A typical ACL injury takes at least four to six months to recover. Which would put him at a November return at the earliest. If he’s not back by September though there will be no where for him to rehab so even if he’s ahead of schedule it seems unlikely.

Then there is the fact that GM Brian Cashman and Rivera’s own doctors have repeatedly denied that the possibility for a 2012 return is realistic.

Rivera, who dropped hints during spring training that this might be his last season, has since come out and said that he isn’t going out like this and will be back in 2013. Considering the surgery he’s gone through and the state of the Yankees bullpen even in his absence, it’s probably best for him to just rest and focus on coming back at 100 percent then.

The Yankees simply don’t need him to rush and come back at anything less.

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