When Mariano Rivera visited the doctor on Monday, he complained about some soreness in his right calf. Just to be thorough, the doctors tested for a blood clot, and just as Rivera was about to leave, test results came back positive for a blood clot. That’s the complication that got some attention the past two days.
“You have to face it,” Rivera said. “I’m getting treatment already. I stayed over at the hospital (Monday night) and they did some tests, put me on some blood thinner medicine. I’m okay. I’m going to start running in five or 10 minutes.”
That’s when Rivera started smiling.
He won’t be running any time soon, and he said he hates his crutches — “I just feel old,” he said — but Rivera was clearly in good spirits today. He has to wait for full range of motion to return to his knee before he can have surgery, and he’s not sure how long that will take.
“I don’t want to put a limit or time frame on my mind saying, ‘Okay, I want to be ready for this time,’” Rivera said. “If it doesn’t happen, I might be disappointed. I just want to take it one day at a time and work hard. That I can guarantee you. I will work hard to come back as soon as I can.”
Rivera’s not sure how or when the blood clot happened, but it believes it will be taken care of along with the ACL. At the time of his injury, Rivera said, he was already leaning toward coming back next season.
“I don’t want to leave the way it happened,” Rivera said. “If I have to pitch another time that the Lord gives me, I would love to do that. But if I can’t, it will be the Lord. I will do whatever it takes, but if the leg doesn’t come back strong the way I want to, that’s the Lord saying he doesn’t want me to come back. If it’s my call, I don’t want to leave the game the way it happened.”
• Mark Teixeira spent roughly an hour with a chest specialist today. He picked up a cold during the welcome home dinner after spring training, and that cold led to a cough that hasn’t gone away. The doctor diagnosed him with a severely inflamed airway. “I had one of my episodes in her office and she goes, ‘Oh, I know what that is,’” Teixeira said. “It’s so inflamed, basically I have no air coming up and down, which is why I’m choking and not being able to talk and that kind of stuff.”
• Teixeira said the breathing problems have affected his ability to run and have limited his workouts a little bit, but he’s on medicine that’s supposed to clear up the problem. “It hasn’t helped, but you fight through things,” Teixeira said. “Everyone’s fighting through something in here they just don’t tell you. That’s the way baseball is.”
• Eric Chavez went through full baseball drills today and said he feels 100 percent. He took a concussion test, and those results were sent to Major League Baseball, which has to accept the results and clear Chavez to play. “There was a part of the concussion test that I didn’t do too well on,” Chavez said. “I’m not sure which part that was. Most of it looked good, really good, and with the concussions that are going on, they’re really taking a lot of precautions. If he says I have to retake the test, I’ll probably do it tomorrow. I’ll just keep taking it until I pass.”
• Most of the concussion test, Chavez said, is about memorization, and he’s not good at that even on his best days. Chavez believes he’s perfectly fine and is hoping to be cleared to come off the disabled list tomorrow.
• Speaking of coming off the disabled list, Brett Gardner is playing one more Triple-A rehab game tonight and it sounds like he might come off the disabled list tomorrow. “He’s playing tonight and we’ll make a decision after that,” Girardi said. “But it shouldn’t be too long. We just want to see how he comes through today.”
• Dave Robertson is available to pitch tonight, even after throwing well over 20 pitches yesterday.
• Girardi on David Phelps, who makes his second start tonight: “I thought he did a pretty good job of limiting damage (last time). He was in some innings where the innings could have gotten away from him, and I thought he did a pretty good job. He threw a lot of pitches those four innings, and that’s something that we’ll have to shorten up a little bit, but I thought he did a pretty good job.”
Associated Press photos