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Mariano Rivera tells Yankees he'll return in 2013

Mariano Rivera has told the New York Yankees that he wants to pitch in the 2013 season after a freak ACL injury ended the all-time saves leader's 2012 season.

Al Bello

Mariano Rivera has reportedly told the New York Yankees that he plans on pitching for them next season after tearing his ACL in May.

Rivera only pitched in nine games last year before a freak accident where he tore the knee ligament shagging fly balls in the outfield. Although the closer swore almost immediately that he would return to baseball, many wondered whether the 42-year-old would pitch again after an injury that requires a very long rehab. Now, he's let the team know that his initial instincts were true, and that he does plan on playing again.

Rivera is not currently under contract. He made $15 million a year the past two seasons, although it's unclear whether the future Hall of Famer will earn that type of money coming back from the injury. Rivera is the all-time leader in saves with 608, and although he's getting up there in years, he had remained dominant -- in fact even improving, statistically speaking -- over the past few seasons.

Rafael Soriano, who closed for New York in Rivera's absence and was quite successful, opted out of the final year of his contract last week and will now decide whether to accept a qualifying offer from the Yankees to return for another year.