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Thursday, July 4, 2002
X-rays on Jeter's leg negative, he's day-to-day

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter left Thursday's game after he bruised his left lower leg and sprained his knee on a hard, takeout slide by Cleveland's John McDonald.

Derek Jeter
Jeter

''I was scared to look because I didn't want to see if my leg was broken,'' Jeter said. ''I was scared at first.''

X-rays were negative and Jeter is day to day. He was to undergo an MRI exam on Friday to make sure there is no ligament damage to his knee. Manager Joe Torre said the five-time All-Star might miss a day or two.

''If everything is fine, I'll try to play as soon as possible,'' Jeter said. ''I won't know until tomorrow. All I can do is wait.''

With McDonald on first and none out in the third inning, Eddie Perez hit a slow roller in front of home plate. Catcher Chris Widger, in his first game with the Yankees, fielded the ball and threw to second base.

Jeter took the throw on a short hop as he stretched toward third base. McDonald came barreling into the base and rolled up Jeter's left leg as he was called out on the play.

''You go in with the intent to make them move their feet,'' McDonald said. ''You don't know where the ball's going to go.''

Jeter grimaced in pain on the ground as trainer Gene Monahan came out to tend to him. The Yankees infielders gathered around their star while a concerned Widger stood with pitcher Mike Mussina about 10 feet away.

Widger felt relieved that Jeter wasn't hurt more seriously on the play and was able to joke about it between innings with pitcher David Wells.

''It figures on my first day out there I'd get Jeter hurt,'' Widger said he told Wells.

''That stuff happens,'' Widger added. ''At first I felt bad because I made the throw, but then you realize that those things happen 30-to-40 times a year.''

McDonald, who grew up in Connecticut rooting for the Yankees, was booed by the crowd as he left the field.

The Yankees didn't think the slide was dirty and first baseman Jason Giambi and Torre let McDonald know that before he left the field.

''It was a hard slide,'' Torre said. ''He didn't do anything other than try to break up the double play.''

Jeter, one of the most durable players in the game, walked off with help from Monahan.

''I don't care how bad he's hurt, he never lays there,'' Torre said. ''He always gets up and pretends that everything is OK. It's scary.''

Jeter, one of five AL shortstops picked for next week's All-Star Game, is hitting .313 with 11 homers and 40 RBI this season.

Enrique Wilson replaced him Thursday and had a single during a two-run sixth inning as the Yankees won 7-1.