Mariano Rivera, while he waits to find out if he needs a surgical procedure done on his vocal cords, speculated that 2012 could be the final year of his career.
"I don’t know what will happen," said the New York Yankees closer, who turns 42 next week and has one year and $15 million remaining on his contract.
"I have one year left. I might call it over. I will know more in spring training."
Bothered for a month by a condition that has turned his voice into a raspy whisper, Rivera has been to one doctor and will get a second opinion Monday.
"Every time I talk it gets worse and worse," Rivera said Tuesday at his New Rochelle restaurant, 42 Clubhouse Grill, where his foundation paired with HOPE Community Services to feed 42 children and their families Thanksgiving turkey meals.
Rivera did not know what was causing the problem, but vocal cords sometimes sprout blisters or polyps that need to be removed. When it was mentioned that shaving of the vocal cords sounded like a simple procedure, Rivera smiled.
"When you are talking about surgery, there is nothing simple," Rivera said.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is not allowed to talk about non-baseball injuries and refused to comment.