Mariano Rivera threw a long-toss session at Yankee Stadium on Monday.
General manager Brian Cashman has said that Rivera will not return this season. But manager Joe Girardi left himself some wiggle room by putting the number at "99.9 percent" that Rivera will not pitch again this season.
Pitching coach Larry Rothschild was asked directly on Monday by ESPNNewYork.com if Rivera could return this season.
"It's way too early to even speculate," Rothschild said.
So what does Rivera throwing long toss in August mean? Well, Rivera, 40, tore his ACL on May 3 and had surgery on June 12. In 2008, Yovanni Gollardo of the Brewers tore his ACL on May 1 and returned on Sept. 24 of that year.
"This is a normal part of the process," Rothschild said as he scurried out to pregame workouts.
Rivera has repeatedly refused to concede that he is out for the year. Girardi said he did not watch Rivera throw.
"Larry told me he threw well, he looked pretty good," Girardi said. "When you are a baseball player, when you can't do the things you are used to doing, as soon as you can do them, you try them."
When Girardi was asked again about Rivera possibly returning, Girardi interrupted. "You are going to get the same answer," Girardi said. "The only thing I'm certain of is we are all going to die."
So, still 99.9 percent?
"I don't see it happening" Girardi said.
When stopped by ESPNNewYork.com on his way to the clubhouse, Rivera just said his long-toss session was "good," and smiled. Then he kept on walking.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you see Mo coming back this year?