From this point forward, perhaps shagging fly balls in the outfield before a game should only be mandatory for pitchers who are under the age of 42. Maybe it isn’t exactly mandatory, but tracking down balls is something some of the Yankees players like to do to warm up and stay in shape. Yankees fans are now crossing their fingers the injury Mariano Rivera suffered while taking part in this ritual wasn’t serious.
Rivera was tracking a fly ball before New York’s game against Kansas City on Thursday evening when he landed awkwardly, tumbled to the ground, and immediately grabbed for his right knee. After being examined by trainers, Rivera was taken off the field in a cart as his teammates watched in apparent shock. According to ESPNNewYork.com, Alex Rodriguez was seen reacting to the scene and saying “Oh my God. Oh my God.”
Rivera was taken for an MRI during the game and diagnosed with a twisted right knee. He was smiling as he was carted off the field, so there is some hope that the situation was more embarrassing than anything. However, Rivera reportedly could not walk under his own power outside of the Yankees clubhouse and had to be helped into the trainer’s room.
The Yankees’ closer has not spent any time on the disabled list in nine years. While the diagnosis of a twisted knee is certainly much better news than some sort of ligament damage, you have to wonder how quickly a 42-year-old player can recover. Since we’re convinced Rivera has successfully discovered the fountain of youth somewhere over the past five seasons, we wouldn’t be surprised if he was back on the mound tomorrow.
UPDATE: Joe Girardi announced that Rivera has suffered a torn ACL. He will miss the rest of 2012, and it is very likely that the injury will force him into retirement.
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