Rivera says surgery on right knee set for Tuesday

June 6, 2012 - 8:00 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said the blood clot in his right calf has cleared up and he will have surgery on his injured knee Tuesday.

Baseball's career saves leader was at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday before New York's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, walking without a limp despite having a torn ACL and damaged meniscus. He said he should be ready to pitch at the beginning of next season.

The 42-year-old Rivera was hurt shagging fly balls in batting practice May 3. Surgery was delayed because doctors discovered the clot. Rivera learned last week that the clot was gone and said his knee has been strong enough for surgery for a while.

A month after his injury, Rivera hasn't had a lot of time to think about what happened. He's been working hard to strengthen his knee so his rehabilitation after the operation will go faster.

"I've been so busy with therapy, I don't even think about it," Rivera said. "When I come home I'm tired, and watching the game is just a full day."

Mets team physician Dr. David Altchek will perform the operation.

Rivera said there's no timetable for his return and he doesn't want one.

"I don't want to have that," Rivera said. "When the Lord permits it to be ready, it will be ready."

As for a potential return this year, Rivera won't think about it.

"I can't," he said. "Again, miracles happen, so I just have to be able to do what I want to do for it."