Following the unfortunate accident prior to a game against the Kansas City Royals last May, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera proclaimed his intent to return for the 2013 season, deciding that after hinting of his retirement after 2012, a torn right ACL was no way to end his illustrious career.
Today, after successfully throwing his first bullpen session of 2013, as well as taking fielding practice and showing fleet feet in covering first base, Major League Baseball's all-time saves king announced that he will be revealing his plans following 2013, even as soon as this week, as per report by Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com,
“There are some things that I have to do," Rivera said before making his decision public. "There are some [personal things.] Don't worry, the time will come. You guys have been patient enough. I've been patient. Another day or a week, it won't hurt.”
Jack Curry of YES Network reports that Rivera has already made his decision, however, he is simply waiting for the right time to make his plans public. Prior to the aforementioned torn ACL, suffered while taking part in his customary pre-game ritual of shagging fly balls, it was widely speculated that 2012 would be his final season.
Rivera threw 25 pitches today while wearing a brace on the affected right knee, which he plans to wear all season. Moreover, he showed no issues from a fielding and lateral movement perspective, altogether making Yankees manager Joe Girardi happy with what he saw,
“It looked normal to me," Girardi said. "It looked like the first day of spring training for any year I've been here. The command was there. He took it nice and slow. He didn't try to overthrow. He has been doing it for so long, I think he is pretty aware of what he has to do."
While he maintains a traditionally limited baseball itinerary during the spring, Rivera will continue to ease back into the game and prepare to add onto his already legendary career when it comes time to close out games in the Bronx,
"I feel good. It was wonderful to be out there again; especially another spring training. I was grateful and give thanks to the Lord for giving me the opportunity to be here again. I enjoyed it."
As for the shagging of fly balls, Rivera and Girardi have agreed to let the pre-game ritual continue.
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