New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, 42, said earlier this month that he, “can’t wait” for the official report date this February 12, 2013. Injured in early May 2012, Rivera, the 12 time all star, was helped off the field by manager Joe Girardi and ushered to the hospital to receive the season- ending news of a torn ACL. Confident of an eminent return to the game, Riviera said,”write it down in big letters. I ain’t going down like this.”
Expressing, “I’m not just coming back to play. I’m coming back to win”, and inspiring twitter fans of the New York Yankees to slap a retweet vote of confidence 2,125 times.
His team is confident in him as well, “it seems like year after year he [Rivera] just gets the job done,” Girardi said. “You get that feeling when he comes out and the song starts playing that the game is over.”
Undoubtedly inspirational to his team and fans, the Yankees are eager to see Rivera back on the official report date to begin to erase the sting of the agonizing sweep of 2012. Will he be ready, critics wonder, fully recovered from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL ) injury?
Fans are hoping for the best for Mariano as the ACL reconstruction failure and complications could be career ending. “Persistent pain is the most consistent patient complaint. Others complain of instability, joint swelling and infection,” said Claude Pierre-Jerome, MD, author of a study at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA, and Sahlgrenska-Molndal University Hospital in Gothenborg, Sweden, on Complications from ACL Reconstructive Surgery.
The ACL which, is the ligament that runs through the knee and attaches the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia), is adjoined to the tibia by the meniscus. “The meniscus is a shock absorber, a shock transmitter, all the pounding that goes on in a performance athlete can wear that down,” purports Dr. Richard Parker, an Orthopedic surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
All that wearing down can fray and weaken the attachment of the ACL which is commonly damaged during running, pivoting, or shagging Jayson Nix’s balls. As no ACL injury is the same and, though, some return within six to eight months, some don’t return at all. Only time will tell for Rivera who will make his debut with the Grapefruit League for spring training in Kissimmee, Florida.
With epic snow fall having battered the East Coast, on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, just before Spring training Rivera said, “I’ve thrown a little bit, I’m running. I’m doing what I can do in this kind of weather. Once I get there [to Florida], the weather will be better and the time will be right to start pushing the legs. I have six more weeks to get ready, so I have full confidence that everything will be fine.”
Sadly though the Yankee Website says,” Rivera will not appear in games until later in March. Even though a pair of gray pants hung in his locker on Saturday, Rivera will be excused from making all Spring Training road trips, as usual.”
In no hurry, Rivera said. “We have a long, long, long Spring Training. I want to take every day one day at a time, and take as much [time] as I need to be in that position to be ready to field balls and cover bases and all that stuff. No rush; I have no rush.”