ATLANTA – Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said Tuesday's surgery on his injured right knee "went perfectly" and he is looking forward to beginning his rehabilitation.
The 42-year-old career saves leader tore his right ACL and damaged meniscus in the knee while shagging fly balls in batting practice May 3. A blood clot in his right calf delayed the surgery until Tuesday.
Rivera used his (at)MarianoRivera Twitter account to tell fans the surgery was a success.
"My surgery was a success, it went perfectly. I am looking forward to beginning my rehab soon. Thanks as always for your prayers. (hash)GodBless," Rivera posted.
New York Mets team physician Dr. David Altchek performed the repair on the ACL. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Tuesday night's game against the Braves he was told the meniscus injury did not require surgery.
"I think the less you have to do the better off you are," Girardi said. "I think that's good news."
Girardi said the surgery clears the path for Rivera's comeback in 2013.
"I think we're all expecting to see Mo pitch next year," Girardi said. "I really don't think we're going to see any issues."
Girardi said he was not given a timetable on Rivera's expected recovery period. Rivera doesn't yet have a contract for next season, although it's expected he'll return and remain with New York.
Asked if Rivera could be ready for spring training, Girardi said, "I would think that's a pretty good possibility."
"I'm sure Mo's anxious to get going," Girardi said. "He was feeling pretty good when he was walking around before the surgery."
Rivera was 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA and five saves when he was injured. Rafael Soriano, who leads the Yankees with nine saves, has been Rivera's primary replacement.
David Robertson was working as the fill-in closer when he was put on the 15-day disabled list on May 15 with a strained muscle in his left ribcage. Robertson threw one scoreless inning on Tuesday in his second rehab appearance with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Girardi said Robertson will join the team in Atlanta on Wednesday and could come off the disabled list on Friday.