Mariano Rivera to have surgery on vocal cords

Mariano Rivera arrives in Midtown Manhattan to receive Mariano Rivera arrives in Midtown Manhattan to receive an achievement award from the Salvation Army at its 64th Annual Luncheon. (Dec. 1, 2011) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Mariano Rivera will have surgery on his vocal cords early Friday, hoping the procedure fixes whatever has caused the raspy voice he's been speaking with for a little more than a month.

"They're going to cut some polyps that I have on the vocal cords," Rivera said Thursday morning at the Marriott Marquis, where he was honored by the Salvation Army, receiving its Pinnacle of Achievement award. "We decided to do it as soon as possible."

Rivera, who will have the surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, said the polyps will be sent to a lab and that, as of now, he's not overly concerned.

"The doctor, she said it doesn't look serious," Rivera said. "But, again, you have to take it to the lab to find out."

A few moments earlier, he said, "I have no worries, but I was worried about what kind . . . if it's benign or I don't know. I'm positive. We have to send it to the lab, and hopefully it's a good thing."

With Rivera's situation being unrelated to baseball, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has cited the HIPAA privacy rule, and he again declined to comment Thursday.

Rivera said he's been told his recovery time should be about two weeks.

"I have a week without speaking and then another week, and it should be fine," he said.

Rivera, who had 44 saves and a 1.91 ERA last season, turned 42 on Tuesday.

"I don't like surgeries," he said, "but the sooner the better."

The closer first discussed the issue on Nov. 22 at a charity event in his restaurant in New Rochelle. While talking with reporters, he said he was undecided on what he might do after the 2012 season.

"Who knows what's going to happen?" said Rivera, who has one year left on his two-year contract. "I might just call it [quits]. God knows."

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