He went down a year ago today on a warning track in Kansas City, and it was possible to believe in those shocking moments that Mariano Rivera’s career was down for the count, too.

His right ACL was torn. He was facing surgery. Months of rehab. And, oh yeah, he was 42, already way beyond the standard expiration date for a major leaguer. Rivera had accomplished enough for multiple athletic careers. There were no tangible goals. So mainly what he had was his pride, his promise not to go out that way, carted off a field.

Rivera was used to having control, ball in his hand, game on the line, responsibility for seasons, championships, legacies resting on his skills. He was determined not to exit on terms he did not dictate. His teammates rightly were stunned that the unbreakable man had broke. But that soon gave way to this belief — he would not be broken.

If the injury proved his body was not made out of steel. His recovery would demonstrate again that his will was iron. There was belief Rivera would defy the calendar, heal up and be, well, Mariano Rivera. You know why? Because he is Mariano Rivera. Because he invests that belief in all those around him. Logic?

What is logical about building one of the great careers ever throwing essentially one pitch? For two decades. Or in leading the majors in saves a month into the season, 12 months after tearing up a knee, at age 43.

“I have to say he’s been very similar to what I’ve seen from him in the past,” an AL scout said. “He’s lost a tick or two of velocity, but the cutter still has late action and the delivery is effortless, athletic, repeatable, which allows him to command the zone in, out, up, down. He looks like he could pitch for another five years.”