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Mariano: 'I'm not going down like this'

MLB.com—Kansas City—May 4, 2012

Hold the music on "Exit Sandman." Mariano Rivera's right knee injury may be season-ending, but he vows it will not end his career.

Rivera, the game's all-time saves leader, tore the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee on Thursday. He said on Friday that he plans to do everything in his power to come back for another season.

Rivera said that he spoke to Dr. David Altchek in New York and will be examined on Monday, anticipating that surgery will be unavoidable. Rivera had asked if he could continue to pitch wearing a knee brace, but the idea was rejected.

According to Dr. Struan Coleman at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, Rivera will likely wait three to four weeks to have surgery, permitting swelling to go down.

Rivera would be able to resume light jogging in about three months and would get back to throwing in five to six months, Coleman said. The fact that Rivera injured his pushoff leg and not his landing leg helps his chances of a full recovery, as well as the fact that he is not a normal 42-year-old patient.

"At the end of the day, genetics also plays a huge role," Coleman said. "He probably has great healing; the fact that he has lasted as long is he has is probably Darwinian.

"There aren't many guys still playing professional sports at his age. His body obviously has great healing potential. If anybody is going to get back from fixing an ACL, it's going to be Mariano Rivera."

This story originally appeared at MLB.com.


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