He won't be playing any time soon after refracturing his ankle last week and will not return until after the All-Star break, manager Brian Cashman announced Thursday.
"We have to back off and let that heal. This is obviously a setback. We are looking at, in terms of speculating on when Derek might be back with us, you are looking at some point after the All-Star Break," Cashman said.
The new crack was discovered after Jeter made an unscheduled visit to ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte last Thursday after not participating in workouts the weekend before and doing a reduced workload during the week. Dr. Anderson told Cashman that 95 percent of people who have this injury come back from it fine. The crack will take anywhere from four to eight weeks to heal.
Jeter fractured his left ankle during Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers last October, had surgery on October 20th, and hoped to be back by Opening Day. That hope was pushed to early May after setbacks in his rehabilitation made his return improbable.
Jeter had said his ankle was fully healed after a visit to see Dr. Anderson on March 7th. It's likely the new injury is because Jeter is notorious for denying injuries. He's known to say, "I'm fine, I'll play tomorrow." Jeter's determination to return ahead of schedule may have backfired on the 39 year old captain, and for some can be seen as a selfish act.
The Yankees are doing alright so far this season, going 8-5. Jeter's absence solidifies Eduardo Nunez into the position, where his defense can be suspect. In 522 major league plate appearances Nunez has hit .271/.318/.378 and stolen 39 bases.
"I'm happy with Nix and Nunez, but I would be happier with Derek," said Cashman.
What can be said about Jeter, whether you're a Yankees fan or not, is that no one plays the game like he does. His contributions to the Yankees organization and Major League Baseball are innumerous. But no one wants to see him end his career because of an injury. When Jeter returns, we may see him more at DH than shortstop.
"He is obviously the toughest one we have ever had. You know when Derek Jeter continues to have issues that don't go away, then it means more than just you typical something, I guess. That is what led to the follow-up. [He is handling] it like a pro. He said, 'I will see you in four to six weeks.' He will never let anybody see any area of weakness or problem. His attitude is, 'You are going to see me sooner than later.'"
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