Derek Jeter bone bruise at fault?

Updated: October 14, 2012, 5:15 PM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Sunday it appeared the byproducts of a previous injury or injuries had affected Derek Jeter's footwork on the play Saturday night in which he broke his ankle.

Girardi also acknowledged, without verbally addressing it, that his 38-year-old shortstop had received a cortisone shot to allow him to keep playing after he originally suffered a bone bruise in early September. Jeter suffered a bone bruise in his left foot in Game 3 of the AL Division Series.

The possibility loomed that he would need surgery to repair potential ligament damage associated with the injury suffered in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the AL Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.

A CT scan and MRI taken Sunday confirmed Jeter's fractured ankle.

Jeter will visit with Dr. Robert Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist, in Charlotte, N.C., in the coming days. Jeter, whose ankle has been placed in a splint and is walking with crutches, was not at Yankee Stadium and will not travel with the team to Detroit.

"When we spoke to the doctor originally, he said it's probably a three-month ordeal, but you have to have more tests,'' Girardi said before Sunday's Game 2. "Similar to anyone who breaks an ankle, you are going to have an MRI to see if there is ligament damage, if they need to do more than just cast it.''

When Girardi was asked if Jeter had received a cortisone shot in the ankle, he did not answer, merely smiling, pursing his lips and nodding slightly.

"I don't think he was playing on a stress fracture, but I think the weakness in his ankle, and the foul tip off his foot, contributed to that,'' Girardi said. "You hear a lot of guys talk about when they sprain one ankle, they usually hurt something else. I think it's inevitable, if you continue to play with something hurt, you're probably going to end up hurting yourself somewhere else.''

Jeter has refused to say how he originally suffered the injury, which first troubled him during a road trip against the Tampa Bay Rays on Labor Day. He aggravated it later by fouling a ball off it in Boston in mid-September, and injured the same ankle, in a different place, in the last game of the regular season against the Red Sox. At the time, Girardi termed the injury a "bone bruise.''

In the early hours of Sunday morning, after X-rays at Yankee Stadium revealed Jeter had fractured the ankle while fielding Jhonny Peralta's grounder in the game the Yankees went on to lose 6-4, general manager Brian Cashman said he believed the injury was related to Jeter's earlier ankle injuries.

"It very well could be related,'' Cashman said. "He's been so banged up with that foot, I would think it is related, yeah.''

Despite the pain the injury had been causing him -- Jeter was often visibly hobbling while running the bases or leaving the field between innings -- Jeter was batting .364 in the postseason, the highest of any regular in the Yankees lineup.

"He's tough,'' Girardi said. "That's the only way I can describe it. He's tough."

Girardi said Jeter ordered him not to cart him off the field.

"He said, do not carry me,'' the manager said.

Jeter left the field with his shoulders supported by Girardi and team trainer Steve Donohue, a gesture Jeter felt was important for the morale of the team.

"That's who he is,'' Girardi said. "He sends messages through the way he plays a lot of times, the way he goes about his business. He's going to have his conversations one-on-one with people, but he sends a message every day by the way he goes about his life. He was sending a message, 'We're going to be fine.' "

Girardi said he did not know if Jeter would travel with the club to Detroit for Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, 5, beginning Tuesday night at Comerica Park. And he maintained the team expects Jeter, who will turn 39 next June, to be ready by the start of spring training in February.

Girardi said a conversation with Jeter on Sunday morning revealed the injured shortstop to be "in good spirits.''

"He wants to be out there, but it's Derek, so he'll play it off, obviously,' Girardi said. "He'll be the tough guy, mentally and physically, that he always is. But this is what he lives for."

In Jeter's absence, the Yankees added Eduardo Nunez to their ALCS roster. Jayson Nix started at shortstop Sunday and hit ninth.

""I feel good, I really do,'' Girardi said about his makeshift Game 2 lineup, which has Ichiro Suzuki leading ott and the slumping Robinson Cano, normally a No. 3 or No. 4 hitter, batting second.

"I've seen the resolve in that room so many times where they've been questioned, and they've gotten it done," Girardi said. "This is a great chance for a lot of people to show their mettle. This is a challenge. It was a challenge with Derek, and now these guys get a chance to show how great they are.''

Information from ESPNNewYork.com contributor Mike Mazzeo was used in this report.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Follow Wallace on Twitter »  Chat archive »

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

  • Long Walk To Victory
    Jackie Bradley got the big hit to finally make Chicago pay for 15 bases on balls.
  • Playing Favorites
    Scott Burnside explains why he's picking the Bruins to win the Cup.
  • Protection Priority
    Tuesday's bomb hoax served as a reminder that security is at the forefront.
  • This Is The End
    The C's ended 2013-14 with a loss, but Danny Ainge is optimistic about next year.
  • A Marathon, Indeed
    William Evans walks us through one of Boston's most harrowing weeks.

ALSO SEE

MORE MLB HEADLINES