Updated 05/04/2012 04:16 PM
Yankees' Mariano Rivera Tears ACL, Throwing Future In Question
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Yankees fans are fearing the worst after learning closer Mariano Rivera may be out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury suffered in Kansas City.
MRI results revealed the 42-year-old tore his right ACL and meniscus while shagging balls during batting practice before Thursday night's game against the Royals.
The all-time saves leader was carted off the field before tests revealed the extent of the damage.
Fans who spoke with NY1 say the news came as a shock.
"It's kind of, you know, unexpected," said one Yankees fan.
"To find out that this could potentially be career ending is a little upsetting," said another Yankees fan.
Rivera regularly catches balls during batting practice as a way to keep in shape.
Given the severity of the injury, it's expected he won't be back this season.
Rivera had already hinted this season could be his last and, when asked by reporters Thursday, said he's not sure if he will ever take the mound again.
"You have to take it the way it is and fight, fight through," Rivera said. "So now we just have to just fight. It happened for a reason, and you just have to deal with it."
"He's disappointed, I mean I really don't know what else to say, sorry, I mean he's disappointed, but he'll be back," said Yankees Captain Derek Jeter.
Rivera has a record 608 saves.
Meanwhile, at least one doctor who spoke with NY1 believes Rivera could make a full recovery -- even in time for the World Series.
Robert Gotlin, the Director of Orthopaedic and Sports Rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical centerm says after surgery, recovery from a torn ACL takes six months or less.
"People seem to think because he's in his 40's that he's too old to get back from his injury. That's nonsense," Gotlin said. "We reconstruct ACLs now on those who are 75 and 80 who ski moguls. So he is fairly young, he's in great shape. Obviously he's been a pitcher for so long. So he is one I actually have optimism for. So if he mentally overcomes his traumatic event, he gets his focus on and wants to work real hard, is it possible that in October he's out there pitching again? Its possible."
The doctor says Rivera's speed of recovery will be more clear after three months of rehabilitation.