- Associated Press - Friday, May 4, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mariano Rivera tore a ligament in his right knee while shagging balls during batting practice Thursday night, casting a pall over the New York Yankees even before their 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

The 42-year-old right-hander’s leg caught on the field where the grass meets the dirt, causing his knee to buckle. Rivera fell into the outfield wall and down on the ground, where he grimaced in pain while teammates and training staff ran out to see him.

Rivera was carted from the field and taken for an MRI exam, and Royals head physician Dr. Vincent Key diagnosed a torn ACL after looking at scans of the knee.

“I thought it wasn’t that bad, but it’s torn,” Rivera said after the game, pausing several times in the Yankees clubhouse to compose himself. “Have to fix it.”

Rivera said that he never gave a thought to getting hurt while chasing balls during batting practice. It’s something that he’s done his entire career to keep in shape.

He also refused to say whether his career is over. The five-time World Series champion has said he’ll make that decision after the season.

“At this point, I don’t know,” Rivera said. “At this point, I don’t know. Going to have to face this first. It all depends on how the rehab is going to happen, and from there, we’ll see.”

Manager Joe Girardi also dismissed any notion that the 12-time All-Star could have prevented the injury, reasoning that Rivera’s pregame routine helped to make him one of the game’s stars.

“You’ve all seen Mo run around here for what, 40 years?” Girardi said. “You can fall off the curb or down stairs and get hurt.”

Third baseman Alex Rodriguez was watching from behind home plate when Rivera went down, and immediately said, “Oh, my God.” Rodriguez said later that the injury changed the entire tone of the clubhouse, and it didn’t improve once the game got going.

Danny Duffy (2-2) went six strong innings before turning it over to the Kansas City bullpen, which maintained a one-run lead until Jonathan Broxton came on to close the ninth.

He allowed a leadoff single to Derek Jeter, his fourth hit of the night, and walked Curtis Granderson. Mark Teixeira followed with a liner to second base, but Chris Getz snagged it in the dirt and fired to Alcides Escobar to start a double play.

Jeter advanced to third for Rodriguez, who hit a chopper to Moustakas at third base. He made a bare-handed grab and threw out A-Rod by a step to preserve the victory.

Broxton earned his fifth save and Kansas City snapped a 10-game home losing streak.

Moustakas homered in the second off David Phelps (0-1), who was making his first major league start, and added a two-run single in the fifth to create some much-needed breathing room.

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