Gallardo feels for Yanks’ Rivera

Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo felt particular sympathy when he saw the now-viral video of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tearing his ACL during batting practice. Gallardo suffered the same injury in May 2008.

“That’s tough for any ballplayer to go down the way he did,” Gallardo said. “It stinks.”

The Yankees expect Rivera to miss the rest of this season but he vowed Friday that he would pitch again. Gallardo actually pitched later the same year, making one start in the final week of the regular season and two appearances in the National League Championship Series against the Phillies, including a Game 1 start.

Here’s the difference: Gallardo was 22 when he was hurt. Rivera is 42. Will that make a big difference?

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Gallardo said. “Obviously, it depends on everybody’s body. There’s some guys that heal, no matter what age, a lot quicker. He’s a good overall athlete.”

What does Rivera face in the coming weeks?

“It’s tough. It’s a lot of hard work,” Gallardo said. “When I had to go through it, it was non-stop, everyday, rehabbing every day for 2-3 hours or whatever it might be. For myself, I had the opportunity to come back and pitch that same year, which was unbelievable. I never thought that [would happen]. Honestly, I didn’t. I thought I was going to be done for that whole year.

“To have the opportunity to come back and have a start before the year was over and then start in the postseason, that was pretty good.”

As for the way in which Rivera was hurt, during batting practice instead of a game, Gallardo said, “It’s one of those weird injuries, out of nowhere. It’s one of those awkward things. There’s a lot of guys out there, running after fly balls, passing time, having a good time. You see something like that happens, it’s just crazy, overall.”

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