It’s curtains down for Mr. Rivera. OR is it?

Mariano RiveraNew York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera’s ACL tear while fielding fly balls during practice before the Yankees-Royals game has come has a huge let down to all baseball fans and Yankees fans in particular. Rivera at 42 had indicated that this might be his final season and with a registered record of 608 career saves he is a pleasure to watch on the field.

Joe Girardi speaking on Thursday after the game, which New York lost 3-4, in Kansas City said that what they had previously thought was a strained knee, was diagnosed as an ACL or anterior cruciate ligament tear through an MRI exam.

Loosing such a charismatic and skilled player to injury is always a disappointment, but that has been made doubly sad as this may be Mr. Rivera’s last season. Mr. Rivera has indicated that he will fight this injury and make a comeback saying that he would not like the last image of his on the field to have been one writhing in pain, but an injury like an ACL tear is not easy to mend and requires weeks of post operative rehabilitation.

There have been a few players who have come back and played successfully even within the same season such as Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo, who was 22 when he suffered an ACL tear and came back to start later the same season.

It is difficult to foresee how Mr. Rivera’s injury will impact the rest of this season as an injury of this kind is extremely rare in pitchers. Mr. Rivera has his age against him, but one good thing about this injury is the fact that it is his right knee that has been impacted. This is not the knee that he needs to put pressure on and is his push off leg, not his plant leg. According to Dr. ElAttrache if he is able to recover from surgery and rehab his power driver muscles, i.e. the glutes and the quads and does not feel much pain he may actually be back in action sooner than any of us could imagine.

Ultimately, it will take a lot of hard work, luck and many prayers from his loyal fans.

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