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Big League Stew

Mariano Rivera plans to return for 19th season

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Thankfully this will not be our final lasting image of Mariano Rivera on a baseball field. (AP)

What seemed like a forgone conclusion in the months following his torn right ACL suffered during a freak accident in Kansas City, became a 50/50 proposition last week when it was reported that Mariano Rivera was considering retirement.

Well, fear not New York Yankees fans (and all reasonable and sensible baseball fans for that matter) the 42 year old closer made his intentions clear to general manager Brian Cashman on Friday, and the New York Post's George A. King III reports those intentions are to pitch for the Yankees in 2013.

The iconic closer told Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on Friday that he wants to return in 2013. Rivera missed almost the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL and, after initially saying he definitely wanted to come back, he was less sure about it in the last few weeks.

Now all speculation has ended.

"Rivera contacted us and wants to play," Cashman told The Post.

Rivera, who turns 43 on Nov. 29, will have to work out a new contract with the Yankees to return in 2013. That won't be an issue — and we hear they need a closer after Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract on Wednesday — but the comeback itself from a major injury and to his pushoff leg won't be easy.

That's especially true when you factor in his age, but if there was any one professional athlete that could recover, return, and not miss a single beat, it's the greatest closer of all-time, future hall of famer, and the athletic freak of nature known as Mariano Rivera.

Since it sounds like he's 100 percent determined to do just that, there's reason to doubt it can't or won't happen.

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