Mariano Rivera is hurt, but he might not be hurt enough to cause significant concern. When he announced on Tuesday that he would not be attending next week’s all-star game, Rivera cited two injuries.
His left side: A nagging problem since early May, the pain just hasn’t gone away completely. “I would say more than ache,” Rivera said of the severity. Then again, Rivera said he had a similar problem on his right side during the World Series, and that went pretty well.
His right knee: A problem since the Dodgers series, Rivera felt it while shagging fly balls, something he’s always done during batting practice. He said the knee is worse than the side. “It’s my pushing leg,” Rivera said. “Every time I push it’s there in the tendon, in the front.”
This is Rivera. He’s the best closer ever and he’s 40 years old, so of course these things raise some serious red flags, but Joe Girardi said Rivera has not been examined by a team doctor. Aside from a handful of games in early May when he first felt the pain in his left side, there has never been a day that Rivera should have been available but wasn’t.
“It’s always a little bit of a concern,” Girardi said. “But it’s nothing serious. Hopefully some rest and some treatment will take care of it.”
Rivera seemed to think the same thing. He said he expects to be available to the Yankees for the next four games, then he’ll take the four days of the all-star break to rest. “Hopefully this will take care of itself,” he said.
“It really hasn’t affected his effectiveness,” Girardi said. “He’s been able to pitch through it. Rib cage injuries can nag people for a while. The thing is, when it becomes too much, that’s when you worry, and it hasn’t at any point.”
Here’s Rivera’s making his all-star announcement and talking about the injuries.