New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera declared that he will be ready to make his much-anticipated return to the mound on Opening Day, saying he’s “feeling good” as he recovers from a torn ACL.
“Oh yeah, I don’t see why not,” Rivera told MLB.com when asked if he’s ready for the Yankees’ opener April 1 against the Boston Red Sox. “We have at least three months, four months to that point. I’ll be ready.”
The 43-year-old Rivera tore his right anterior cruciate ligament during batting practice in Kansas City in May and underwent knee surgery.
Rivera holds the Major League record in saves with 608 in a career that has spanned 17 years and 1,051 regular-season games. He also has 42 more saves in the postseason.
The closer said he has not started throwing regularly but recently lobbed the ball off the mound during a commercial shoot.
“My arm is good,” Rivera said. “Everything else feels good. I will start throwing a baseball pretty soon.”
“The leg’s getting stronger and stronger,” Rivera said. “You have to give it time. I’m doing my part and time is doing its part.”
The Yankees earlier signed the 43-year-old closer to a one-year, $10 million deal to return to the Yankees earlier this offseason.
Meanwhile, Rivera has applauded the Yankees’ move to sign infielder Kevin Youkilis and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki for next year.
“Once the season is over, I don’t follow baseball,” Rivera said. “I know they’re about to sign Youkilis and Ichiro; that I know because I just heard it here. Those two guys are veterans. They are good players and they know the league. They will be helpful for the team.”