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Mariano Rivera Injury Update: Could Yankees Closer Make 2012 Return?

For most players, a return from an ACL tear can be a long and tough process. That's why many thought that New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera would chose not to come back for the 2013 season.

Those who thought the future Hall-of-Famer was going to hang-up his cleats were wrong, and soon many could be wrong about the date of Rivera's return to the big leagues, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

For in our conversation yesterday, Pyne also said Rivera is "working his butt off," is well ahead of schedule in rehab and "is itching to get back."

He added, that Rivera "will be in the best position to accomplish that goal [pitching this year]. He’s got everything it takes to accomplish that. ... If I was putting money on it, I would put my money on Mo."

If Rivera is to return, says Pyne via Sherman, it probably will be very late in the season as he cannot resume any running or throwing until late July. If Rivera is to return it probably will not be until October -- much like Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo did in '08, when he tore his ACL on May 1st.
"You have to let the ACL scar down, it is just being cautious," Pyne said. "So right now we are establishing all the neuro-connections in his knee, foot and back going to the brain so that when he starts to load there are no complications. It is Dr. Altchek’s call he will tell us when [Rivera] can begin weight bearing. In the meantime we are getting him ready to accept load. Once you do that, that is the hard part and he is already ready to go. When you do that, when you get to load bearing, recovery time speeds up immensely."

See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees. Check back with SB Nation New York for more information about Rivera's injury.