Mariano Rivera will not pitch in next week’s All-Star game because of minor injuries to his right knee and left side.
“I’d prefer to take those days off and make sure I’m ready for the second half,” the 40-year-old closer said after the Yankees took batting practice tonight.
Rivera, who needed just 10 pitches in recording the save Monday night here, wouldn’t say he was unavailable to the Yankees up until the All-Star break, saying instead, “it’s up to the manager.”
Joe Girardi was not available to the media after Rivera spoke and did not raise the issue in his pregame meeting with reporters two hours earlier.
Rivera said the problem with his left side, his oblique, is same one that kept him out about a week in early May. He said it has not gotten any better.
“I’ve been pitching and pitching and pitching,” said Rivera, who came into tonight with 19 saves and a 1.08 ERA. “It’s hard to rest it and let it heal by itself.”
The right knee, which Rivera said started bothering him in Los Angeles a little more than a week ago, sounded more troublesome. He said he has fluid and inflammation around the patella tendon, though the knee has not been drained and he said a stint on the disabled list hasn’t been discussed.
“Definitely it’s hard [pulling out of the All-Star game] but it’s a decision I have to make,” Rivera said. “It’s a great honor but at the same time I have to be wise.”