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Nathan says Rivera can pitch again

Nathan says Rivera can pitch again

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Nathan says Rivera can pitch again
CLEVELAND -- Closer Joe Nathan, who missed the entire 2010 season after undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, said that Yankees closer Mariano Rivera could pitch again, even if he misses a full season with a torn ACL in his knee.

"This is going to be more about desire than physical," Nathan said. "The physical thing is nothing if you've done your work and all the things you're supposed to do over the course of your career. If you do that, you can get through the physical thing. He's in great shape because he has taken care of himself. It's a matter of where he is mentally and his desire. ... Does he have the desire to go through the rehab part and play again?"

Rivera, baseball's all-time saves leader, with 608, injured the knee while shagging during batting practice on Thursday in Kansas City. He is expected to undergo season-ending surgery but said on Friday that he wants to pitch in 2013.

"It stinks," Nathan said. "Obviously, this was not the way he wanted to go out. Do I know what he's going to do? Obviously not. I know this year was supposedly his last one. With him, it's like he was Superman. For him to go out like this, especially in batting practice ... It would be one thing if he were on the mound. It goes to show, a lot of weird things can happen."

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