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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Jeter's road back on hold ... again

By Wallace Matthews

Jeter
Derek Jeter was at the Yankees' complex to get treatment on his surgically repaired ankle Wednesday.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter's road back to the major leagues is on hold once again.

According to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, Jeter will not play in any minor league games at least through this weekend.

“We’re going to back off completely," Cashman said. “Right now, I think the plan is rest and backing off just a bit to give the ankle soreness a chance to calm down, and then we’ll get him going again, but I can’t tell you what that date is going to be."

Jeter came to the Yankees complex for treatment on his surgically repaired left ankle Wednesday morning. He worked with a physical therapist but left before the clubhouse was opened to reporters. He has not done any baseball activities since taking four at-bats in a minor league game Saturday, after which he reported pain and soreness in the ankle and was shut down indefinitely.

Now, with Jeter unlikely to play until Monday at the earliest, there is doubt that Jeter will be well enough to be reactivated by April 6, the first day he will be eligible to come off the disabled list.

Jeter has appeared in just five major league preseason games this spring, two as a DH and three at shortstop, with none of them longer than five innings, and Cashman said Jeter would have to be able to play in back-to-back nine-inning games before the Yankees would consider reactivating him.

“I know we’ll get him back," Cashman said. “I just can’t tell you when yet."

On Tuesday, Jeter -- who has missed just one Opening Day in his 17 seasons with the Yankees, in 2001 -- reluctantly acknowledged that he will miss this one too.

“Of course it’s disappointing. I’ve told you guys all along my goal was to be ready on Opening Day, and I didn’t reach it," he said. “I tried, but I just ran out of days. I just ran out of time."

He even backed off from predicting that he would be able to rejoin the team in Detroit on April 6.

“I’m going to stop putting dates on it," Jeter said. “If you ask me, of course, yeah, I think I’ll be ready by then. But I’ll stop putting dates on it."

Cashman said the decision to keep Jeter off the field longer than originally expected was not the result of any further injury.

“There’s nothing new here," Cashman said. “We’re just giving him a lot of treatment to try and eliminate the pain he had when this occurred."

In Jeter’s absence, Eduardo Nunez will serve as the Yankees' starting shortstop. When the Yankees break camp Thursday, Jeter will remain behind in Tampa for extended spring training, which begins Monday. How extended that spring will be, no one seems to know.