Mariano Rivera said he will be ready for Yankees' opening day. (John Parra/Getty Images)
One of the best closers will be ready for opening day, or so he says. New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera said he is "feeling good" and will be ready when the team opens the season April 1, according to Anthony McCarron of The New York Daily News.
The return would be just shy of a year when Rivera, 43, went down with a devastating ACL tear in May that left many wondering whether he would ever return to pitching. He said there's still ways to go in terms of rehab, but his leg is feeling good and doesn't see why wouldn't be able to play for the Yankees come the spring:
"Oh, yeah, I don’t see why not. We have at least three months, four months until that point. I’ll be ready. [T]he leg’s getting stronger and stronger. You have to give it time. I’m doing my part and time is doing its part. [M]y arm is good. Everything else feels good. I will start throwing a baseball pretty soon.”
The Yankees open the regular season against the Boston Red Sox on April 1. Former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis signed with the Yankees in December. Rivera said he doesn't expect Yankees fans to like him, but he has to respect him now that they're both wearing pinstripes:
"Definitely, Yankee fans won’t like him because he was wearing the Red Sox uniform... I can’t decide for them. But he will be my teammate and I have to respect that."