Mariano Rivera vows to come back to the New York Yankees, even after tearing his ACL Thursday while shagging fly balls in the outfield. But a doctor told the New York Post that Rivera's comeback, should it happen at all, is "very unlikely" to occur this season.
"To come back this season is very unlikely," said Dr. David Geier, Director of Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. "Spring training or a little before is probably the best-case scenario."
If he does return to the Major Leagues, Rivera might not remain the invincible closer everyone's used to. But his age shouldn't be a factor in his recovery.
"There's an excellent chance he could come back, but there are going to be reservations about whether he'll be at the same elite level," Geier said Friday.
"It shouldn't matter if someone is in their 40s or 20s," Gladstone said. "It is a long, tedious rehab. But he's going to go through the same rehab even if he doesn't continue playing. And the fact that he is such a disciplined athlete portends well for a successful recovery."