ATLANTA -- Surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Mariano Rivera's right knee went better than expected on Tuesday, when no repairable damage was found in the meniscus in the damaged knee, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. That was good news. "The less you have to do, the better off you are," Girardi said before Tuesday's game against the Braves at Turner Field. "I'd think that's good news. I'm sure Mo is anxious to get going."
The 42-year-old Rivera tore the ACL and reportedly damaged the meniscus in his right knee while shagging fly balls in the outfield on May 3 before a game in Kansas City. Rivera would have had the surgery sooner, but doctors discovered a blood clot in his right calf after the knee injury, and he had to take blood-thinning medication to eradicate the clot. When that was fully dissolved, Rivera was able to undergo the knee surgery, which was performed in New York by Mets physician David Altchek. "He got it repaired," Girardi said. "It's another step toward him coming back. We're all expecting to see Mo next year. I don't think we're going to see him pitch again this year." Rivera, the Major Leagues' all-time leader with 608 regular-season saves and 42 more in the playoffs, tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that the surgery had gone fine. "My surgery was a success, it went perfectly," Rivera wrote. "I am looking forward to beginning my rehab soon. Thanks as always for your prayers." Girardi said there was no timetable for Rivera's return. The right-hander had said in the days after sustaining the injury that he wasn't going to end his career on a sour note and would work hard to return next season. "A lot of guys, it's whatever their bodies allow them to do," Girardi said. "They can give you a timetable, but that doesn't mean it's going to be before or after. I think we expect him next year."