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Thursday, April 25, 2013
First Pitch: Jeter's resolve

By Andrew Marchand

Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter is not one to doubt himself.
There really is no telling when Derek Jeter will play again. There is even a chance it will be never. Since he had surgery on his dislocated ankle in October, he first tried to come back by Opening Day and then it was pushed back to May 1. Now, it won't be until after July's All-Star break.

Even if Jeter can't make it back for the second half, it is still hard to imagine him taking his three strikes and feeling like he is out.

On Thursday afternoon, Jeter will speak for the first time since his latest setback, a small crack in his left ankle, and we will find out what he is thinking. Jeter will probably talk like he usually does, searching for the positive, demonstrating a resolve that has been his compass during his legendary career.

Jeter, 38, has never had any doubts in himself. Even when he hit .270 for a year-and-half from 2010 to the middle of 2011, Jeter believed in himself when many thought the end was near. By the end the 2012 season, he had more hits than any other major leaguer.

Now, he is faced with a different type of circumstance. His body is giving out, but Jeter's mind likely will not be giving in. At sometime after 4 p.m., we will hear how determined Jeter is for his latest comeback.

UP NOW: Wallace Matthews has all the details from Wednesday night's game in Tampa.

ON DECK: At 11:45 a.m., Mark Simon will look at the first 20 games through a statistical lens. Clubhouse time is late on Thursday with the doors not swinging open until 4 p.m. because the Yankees will not take batting practice. Jeter is expected to talk at some point after 4 p.m. Joe Girardi will speak at 4:30.

The versatile Kieran Darcy and I will be on hand.

QUESTION: When do you think Jeter comes back?