Rivera Has Torn Knee Ligament: Girardi

Baseball's career saves leader was tracking down a ball near the wall in center field when his right knee appeared to buckle.

Friday, May 4, 2012  |  Updated 6:24 AM EDT
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Yankees manager Joe Girardi says closer Mariano Rivera has a torn right knee ligament, an injury that could potentially end his career.

The 42-year-old right-hander was carted off the field after twisting his right knee shagging flyballs during batting practice Thursday night before the Yankees played the Kansas City Royals.

Rivera was tracking down a ball near the wall in center field when his right knee appeared to buckle. He was grimacing while flat on the warning track in the outfield, and trainers placed him on a cart and took him off the field through a tunnel in the Royals' bullpen.

When Rivera went down, bullpen coach Mike Harkey whistled for trainers and manager Joe Girardi ran out to center field, where he physically helped him into the cart.

Near home plate, teammate Alex Rodriguez could be seen saying "Oh, my God. Oh, my God."

The 42-year-old Rivera regularly catches balls during batting practice as a way to keep in shape. He's dealt with inflammation in his right knee in the past.

Rivera has five of his 608 career saves this season. He hinted during spring training that this could be his final year in the major leagues. Rivera said he won't announce his long-term plans until after the season.

His last trip to the disabled list came in 2003, when he had a groin strain.

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