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New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (42) is congratulated after saving the game against the Toronto Blue Jays and tying the record of 600 total saves at the Rogers Centre. Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 7-6. Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE/Kevin Hoffman

New York Yankees right-hander Mariano Rivera might be headed for surgery this winter, though it has nothing to do with the veteran's seemingly ageless arm.

The closer, who turns 42 on Nov. 29, has been bothered by throat problems for nearly a month and is headed for a second opinion after being informed he may need to undergo surgery on his vocal cords.

"Every time I talk, it gets worse and worse," Rivera said recently. "I thought it was a little simple thing, and I went to the doctor and she said they might have to do something. I think they have to scrape them."

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Rivera is expected to be ready for spring training, which opens Feb. 19 in Tampa. The Yankees had no comment on Rivera's situation, and although the surgery appears to be a fairly simple procedure, Rivera had some trepidation about it nonetheless.

"When you're talking about surgery, there's no 'simple,'" Rivera said.

Rivera has had 30-plus saves in each of the past 15 seasons, and he set the all-time record in September. He finished the season with 603 saves after nailing down 44 in 2011.

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