Mariano Rivera didn't want a brilliant career to end on a dirt warning track at Kauffman Stadium.

One day after suffering a torn ACL and meniscus damage to his right knee shagging batting practice fly balls, the game's all-time saves leader announced his career isn't over and that he will attempt a comeback for the 2013 season.

"I am coming back. Put it down," Rivera said. "Write it down. In big letters.''

With a wide smile, and joking around with reporters, Rivera sat in front of his locker before the Yankees' 6-2 win over the Royals and said he made the decision overnight in his hotel room

"When you love the game and you like to compete, it would be tough to go out like this," he said. "I can't go down like this."

With the aid of the Steinbrenner family jet, Rivera will return to New York today and map out surgery plans Monday with Dr. Chris Ahmad. Although Rivera hasn't completely ruled out pitching again this season, it is an extremely long shot because the recovery time from the extensive surgery ranges from five to 12 months depending on the patient and how the rehab program goes.

Rivera didn't know who will do the surgery, but he is comfortable with Mets team doctor David Altchek, who operated on his right shoulder following the 2008 season. Rivera talked with Altchek yesterday.

Rivera's camp also has contacted Dr. Richard Steadman in Colorado.

"[Altchek] mentioned three, four months, five months [until he can start working out], depends on how I can take it," Rivera said. "He did my shoulder before. I'm a quick healer. That's good. That's all good."