Nunez, who went 1-for-5 with a double and two runs scored in the ALDS, has been replaced by reliever Cody Eppley.
"I don't know that I would assume that [Jeter] is 100 percent. But I feel pretty good about him playing short," manager Joe Girardi said before Game 1. "And it's something we might have to fight through. We'll see."
Jeter aggravated the injury when he fouled a pitch off his foot in Game 3 against the Orioles, hobbling around for almost the remainder of the game before being pulled. He then served as the designated hitter in Game 4, with Jayson Nix starting at shortstop, while Nunez came into the game at shortstop later on.
Nix, who is a more sure-handed defender than Nunez, will serve as the team's utility player during this series. Girardi said the decision to keep Nunez off the roster came down to wanting an extra pitcher, with the team's starters facing short-rest starts during the ALCS.
"Knowing that with (Hiroki) Kuroda going on short rest and maybe someone going on short rest later if we had to do that, it gives us an extra pitcher," Girardi said. "They send their left-handers out when you face a right-hander, we can mix and match a little earlier if we have to."
Nunez understood the move. "It doesn't matter what moves they make, it's only to win the games. That's what matters right now," Nunez said. "I don't care if I'm on the roster or not, just win the game."
SHORT REST FOR CC: CC Sabathia is lined up to pitch on normal rest in Game 4 on Thursday, but could be needed for a short-rest start in Game 7 if the series goes that far. The lefty said he'll be good to go whenever the team needs him. He has a bullpen session scheduled for Sunday, and said he feels good after Friday's complete game.
"At this point of the year anything is OK," Sabathia said. "It's not time to be hurt, it's time to go."
Sabathia is 18-12 with a 4.43 ERA in his career against the Tigers, and 9-5 with a 4.26 ERA at Comerica Park. He had two no-decisions against Detroit in last year's ALDS, pitching to a 6.23 ERA.
WHERE IS CANO? Robinson Cano had a miserable ALDS, hitting just .091 (2-for-22), but his manager expects the All-Star second baseman to bounce back.
"He is extremely important to our lineup. So when you are able to keep a guy down for one round, I like my chances the second round. I really do," Girardi said. "Just because he's that good of a hitter. I mean, we have seen him go through some ups and downs this year. And when he comes out of it, he's pretty special."