Mariano Rivera had played it coy all year when it comes to his future, saying he would reveal his plans when he was ready and not a minute sooner.

Friday, he was ready.

Less than 24 hours after tearing both the ACL and meniscus in his right knee, Rivera announced that he plans to return for the 2013 season, not content to allow his Hall of Fame career to end with a freak accident on the warning track at Kauffman Stadium.

"I am coming back," Rivera said. "Put it down. Write it down in big letters. I'm not going out like this.

"God willing and given the strength, I'm coming back."

Rivera pondered his future Thursday night in his hotel room, only a few hours after he suffered the knee injury while shagging flies in center field. The pain in his knee kept him up for much of the night, giving him plenty of time to decide this was not the end for him.

"You don't go out like this," Rivera said. "I love to play the game. I don't think, to me, going out like this is the right way. I don't think like that. With the strength of the Lord, I have to continue."

Rivera spoke Friday with Dr. David Altchek, the noted orthopedist and Mets' team physician. Altchek, who performed Rivera's shoulder surgery following the 2008 season, told the closer he could be ready to go by the start of spring training next February.

"That's Mo; he's a competitor, man," Nick Swisher said. "The great ones, you have to drag them off the field. I don't think he could live the rest of his life going out like that. A guy like him, he should go out on his own terms."