Mariano Rivera has accomplished some amazing feats in his surefire Hall-of-Fame career. However, this one might be near the top. It appears as if Rivera will return to a major league mound for the start of the 2013 season, less than a year after he crumpled to the ground on the Kansas City Royals’ warning-track with a torn ACL. Oh, he just turned 43-years-young.
Last night at radio host Ed Randall’s “Fans 4 the Cure” cancer charity event in Manhattan, Rivera claimed a clean bill of health. “I feel great,” he said. A few weeks ago, Rivera said the knee was at 95 percent, but that the remaining five would come quickly. He should be beginning his throwing any day, if he hasn’t already. Rivera’s throwing program is starting earlier this year to make up for lost time in 2012.
Usually, Rivera strolls into the Yankee Spring Training complex a few days after pitchers and catchers report, well, because he’s Mariano Rivera. However, this year, he will likely use all the time he can get to make sure his arm is ready. Rivera is even more important to the team this year since Rafael Soriano bolted for the nation’s capital.
If everything goes according to plan this spring, there’s no reason to believe Rivera won’t be on the mound on Opening Day closing out a game against the rival Boston Red Sox.