Yankees Reliever Rivera Says He Had Blood Clot in Injured Leg

Yankees' Mariano Rivera
Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees is interviewed outside of team's clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium on May 4, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photographer: Ed Zurga/Getty Images

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, Major League Baseball’s career saves leader, was given blood thinners this week to dissolve a clot near the knee injury that ended his season.

Rivera tore his right anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his knee while catching fly balls during batting practice May 3. Doctors discovered the blood clot in his calf this week.

“Things happen for a good reason,” Rivera told reporters yesterday. “I was more concerned with the blood clot than the knee.”

Surgery to repair his knee hasn’t been scheduled, said Rivera, who was walking on crutches at Yankee Stadium. He needs two weeks to strengthen his knee, he said.

“I believe (the clot) is taken care of already,” Rivera said. “Now I have to just strengthen it and be ready for surgery. I have to have full range of motion, and that will be better for the surgery.”

The 42-year-old Rivera, a 12-time All-Star who has 608 saves, said he plans to return next year for a 19th season with the Yankees. His contract expires this year.

“I was leaning toward coming back; I was feeling strong on that,” Rivera said. “The traveling, I hate it. The playing, I love it. I was torn between that.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net