Don't call it a career for the game's greatest closer just yet.

Mariano Rivera spoke to reporters before Friday's Yankees-Royals game and said he plans to return from Thursday night's ACL injury to pitch for the Yankees.

"I'm coming back," Rivera said. "Write it down in big letters. I'm not going out like this."

Rivera tore the ACL and meniscus in his right knee shagging balls during batting practice. He was going back on a ball near the wall when he slipped on the warning track and his knee buckled. He was helped up, placed on a cart and driven back to the locker room.


Rivera, 42, spoke before the season about having already made up his mind whether to retire at the end of 2012, but he would not reveal his decision. The decision has apparently not been made for him.

"I love to play the game," Rivera said. "To me, going out like this isn't the right way."

Rehab from surgery will likely take him out for the rest of the season, though Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo tore his ACL on May 1, 2008 and returned to pitch one start before the playoffs and then twice in the postseason.

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