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Thursday, December 1, 2011
Mariano Rivera to have throat surgery

By Andrew Marchand
ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will have surgery on his vocal cords Friday, but the procedure is not expected to affect his ability to pitch next season, his agent, Fern Cuza, said Thursday.

Rivera, who turned 42 Tuesday, will have polyps on his vocal cords removed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and is not expected to be able to speak for a week. He is expected to be recovered by the end of the month.

"I don't like surgery, but the sooner, the better," Rivera said Thursday during a charity event.

Rivera finished last season with 44 saves -- for a career total and baseball record 603 -- and a 1.91 ERA. He will be paid $15 million next season. Rivera has not decided how much longer he will pitch.

The polyps have bothered Rivera recently. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, citing HIPAA privacy laws, has declined to talk about the issue because it is not baseball-related.

Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.