Mariano Rivera isn’t talking retirement — yet

February 13, 2013

Poor Mariano Rivera. No sooner does he get to spring training and start stretching and throwing and running through the outfield than he has to answer questions about when he might retire.

The New York Yankees’ ageless closer, hoping to come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that sidelined him most of last season, isn’t saying when that might be.

“I will tell you guys when it is the right moment,” Rivera, 43, said (via the New York Daily News). “Don’t worry, the time will come. You guys have been patient enough. Another day or week, it won’t hurt.”

Rivera, who is the all-time saves leader with 608, threw off a mound at Steinbrenner Field, working out with teammates for the first time since he tore his ACL chasing down flies in the outfield last May in Kansas City. He wore a “just precautionary” brace on his knee, which he said was a 9 on a 1-10 scale and would be at 10 when spring training ends.

“I wasn’t thinking about it at all, my knee,” he said. “I was just having fun and doing my job.”

Rivera isn’t about to change his pregame ritual of shagging balls in the outfield despite his injury.

“I don’t want to change. I will do whatever it takes to be myself again,” Rivera said. “I don’t want to be someone that I’m not. I have to be careful? Yeah. I’m always careful. The injury happened because the Lord permitted it. I have to be ready, and if shagging is part of my routine, then I’ll be doing it. How much? I don’t know, but I’ll be doing it.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · February 13, 2013