- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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NEW YORK -- The Yankees are arranging for shortstop Derek Jeter to play in a simulated game on Saturday, the team announced after Friday's 10-6 loss to the Rays. Jeter is eligible to return off the disabled list on Saturday, but the team is giving him at least an extra day to make sure he's fine. The location and time of the simulated game have yet to be determined.
Jeter, who could return to the lineup as early as Sunday's series finale against the Rays, completed a workout on Thursday and had another one prior to Friday's game against Tampa. After the workout, he was scheduled to meet with team doctor Christopher Ahmad to see if he could be return Saturday. After the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not know how Jeter's checkup went.
Jeter went on the disabled list retroactive to July 12 after suffering a Grade 1 quad strain in his season debut on July 11. The team originally kept Jeter on the roster, but they shut him down to start the second half. Jeter said Friday that everything felt good and he was hopeful to play Saturday.
"Always hopeful," Jeter said before the game. "We'll see."
It's been a frustrating season for Jeter as he's missed 102 of the team's first 103 games, the most he's missed since he became the starting shortstop in 1996. Jeter had offseason left ankle surgery that took longer than expected to heal, and he suffered a setback in April as he fractured the surgically repaired ankle.
The original timeline from that new fracture called for Jeter to return after the All-Star break, but the Yankees brought him back a few days early. That move backfired, as Jeter strained his quad against the Royals. Jeter went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the Yankees' 8-4 win.
With Jeter nearing a return and with Friday's acquisition of outfielder Alfonso Soriano, the Yankees are slowly building up one of baseball's worst offenses. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez and outfielder Curtis Granderson are also close to possible returns, which would only help the struggling unit.
The Yankees have already used five shortstops this year, none of whom have played particularly well.
CERVELLI UPDATE: Catcher Francisco Cervelli (hand) is headed to Ohio to have his right hand checked after he felt some pain, according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.