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Recovering Rivera plans to play for Yankees in 2013

Injured New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of their MLB ALDS baseball playoff series
Injured New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of their MLB ALDS baseball playoff series

(Reuters) - Baseball's all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera plans to return next year after missing most of the 2012 season with a knee injury, the New York Yankees said on Saturday.

"He called me yesterday and told me that he'd like to play in 2013," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Major League Baseball's website. "Now (agent) Fernando Cuza and I will work behind the scenes and do our jobs in making that happen."

Rivera, who will be 43 next month, suffered a season-ending injury in May, tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament. The closer underwent surgery in June and is expected to be ready for spring training.

Rivera, who has 608 regular-season saves, has been the Yankees' closer since 1997.

"I believe in his ability to fill that job that he's always done," Cashman said. "He's never failed, and I know that knee is going to be good, so we look forward to returning him to the closer's role."

The 12 time All-Star appeared in just nine games during the 2012 season, posting a 1-1 record with five saves and a 2.16 earned run average.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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