Rivera 'pitching hurt,' no All-Star Game

Updated: July 7, 2010, 1:32 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

OAKLAND -- Due to inflammation in his right knee and a sore oblique, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is going to skip this year's All-Star Game. Rivera said he thought he could continue pitching for the Yankees until the All-Star break, but it would be prudent to take advantage of the four days off, rather than go to Anaheim.

"I've been pitching hurt," Rivera said.

The disabled list is not a possibility at this point, Rivera said, which indicates the Yankees don't think his injuries are too serious.

"He's OK," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after Tuesday night's game. "It is just a little nagging thing."

Girardi added that there hasn't been a day when Rivera has been unavailable.

Rivera, 40, has had the oblique injury for a while, but he said that the knee -- which is the one he uses to push off the rubber -- has been bothering him for a little more than a week. He said he needs to rest, and doesn't expect to have any more two-inning outings in the near future.

"There will be times when you will have to," said Rivera, referring to crucial late-season and playoff games.

Rivera indicated that the symptoms in his side and knee flared up after Girardi used him for two innings on June 23 against the Arizona Diamondbacks and June 27 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I always want to pitch," Rivera said. "Even with one arm, I'd always want to pitch. It's something that we have to take care of. We haven't taken care of it enough. We did for a little bit, but it's there."

Rivera has been good as ever this season. With his velocity approaching the mid-90s at times, Rivera entered Tuesday night's game with 19 saves, including one on Monday night, and a 1.08 ERA.

For now, though, Rivera plans to take it easy over the All-Star break. The Yankees are hoping that's all it takes.

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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