Four days a week, Mariano Rivera makes the trip from his Westchester home to Manhattan. Four days a week, he puts in three hours of stretching, exercising and sweating designed to get him back from his torn ACL and on a major league mound.

But when?

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said yesterday "in terms of 2012, he's out."

Rivera, though, has always been good at defying expectations. In the most informal of surveys, I went around the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park over the weekend and could not find a single person in a Yankees uniform who did not think that at some point out of nowhere soon we would hear, "Mo has begun running" or "Mo is down in Tampa doing some long tossing." Such is the mystique and respect he engenders.