Mariano Rivera will likely miss the remainder of the season, and may see his career come to an end after a freak accident caused him to tear his ACL on Thursday night before the Yankees game in Kansas City.
Rivera often shags fly balls before games while Yankees' players are taking batting practice. He was chasing a flyball near the edge of the warning track when his right leg buckled and he dropped to the ground in obvious pain.
Following the fall, numerous members of the Yankees rushed to his side and eventually had to help load the 42-year-old closer onto a cart to be wheeled off the field.
A video of the incident is below.
Rivera addressed the media after the game with tears in his eyes.
I have the ACL, its torn actually, broke; and some meniscus also, he said to reporters after the game.
Rivera has been defying the odds his entire career. He has pitched in a league record 1,051 games and compiled 608 saves, also a record.
For roughly 12 years, about the time Rivera turned 30, pundits and baseball fans have been predicting that his skills would begin to erode only to be proven wrong by the quiet, unassuming Panamanian.
Rivera is a free agent at the end of the season, and will turn 43 before next season's spring training. His injury will require surgery and the recovery time on an ACL tear is six to eight months, so he can't begin to prepare for the 2013 season until at least November.
When asked if he'd be able to pitch again, Rivera was brought to tears as he said, I don't know, at this point, I don't know.