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Saturday, August 3, 2013
Derek Jeter (leg) to miss two games

By Wallace Matthews
ESPNNewYork.com

SAN DIEGO -- Derek Jeter has the weekend off, which is potentially bad news for him and the New York Yankees.

Manager Joe Girardi said Saturday that Jeter would not play in the final two games of the Yankees' series against the San Diego Padres because of a lingering injury to his right leg.

"He's been battling this leg problem. He's also battling a little calf problem," Girardi said before Saturday night's game at Petco Park. "I'm going to give him the next two days off, see where we're at on Monday. Hopefully get him back in there on Monday."

Jeter, who missed the first 91 games of the season after suffering two fractures of his left ankle, only came off the disabled list on July 27 after suffering a strained quad in his right leg in his first game back on July 11. Jeter was in the training room receiving treatment and was not available to reporters before Saturday's game.

In Friday night's game, a 7-2 Yankees loss, Jeter made an awkward half-slide after going from first to third on a single. Later in the game, he appeared to hobble back to the dugout after flying out in the third inning, and in the seventh took an awkward step while fielding a potential double-play ball at shortstop and wound up throwing the ball past Robinson Cano at second. He also committed a throwing error in the second inning.

"That started on Monday," Girardi said of Jeter's calf injury. "He's been battling this. We're going to try to give him these two days and see if we can knock it out."

After Friday's game, Girardi had acknowledged Jeter was physically hampered, saying, "I'm not so sure he's 100 percent, but he's trying to grind it out for us."

Jeter, as is his custom, refused to discuss his condition after the game.

"I'm all right," Jeter said. "Like I told you, if I play, you don't hear anything about it. I played, so I'm good."

After coming off the disabled list, Jeter hit the first pitch he saw for a home run last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium, but since then has had three singles in 13 at-bats, and Girardi sent Eduardo Nunez in to pinch run for him in the ninth inning of Wednesday's game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Girardi said Jeter first complained of the new injury on Monday morning, after his first game back, and acknowledged that had it been earlier in the season -- and if the Yankees were not in such desperate need of wins -- Jeter probably would not have played in the Dodgers series, or Friday night.

"We've only got so many games left," Girardi said. "If there were 150 games, he probably wouldn't have played Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. But because of what we have ..."

The Yankees are currently in fourth place in the AL East, 8½ games behind the Boston Red Sox and just four games above .500, for the first time since July 1. Jeter has acknowledged that the Yankees have asked him to run at less than full speed when possible in order to complete the healing process in his quad, something he admitted has not been easy for him to do.

"It's tough," he said on Wednesday. "I'm not very smart at it. You try to make a conscious effort to not do anything stupid, but it's difficult to do when your natural reaction is to run as hard as you can, and you can't."

Girardi said Jeter might be available to pinch hit against San Diego if necessary, but did not rule out yet another trip to the disabled list for his 39-year-old shortstop.

"I'm definitely giving it two days," Girardi said. "My hope is that we don't have to DL him. My goal is to get him back in there on Monday, get him in there against the White Sox and see how he does."

In Jeter's absence, Nunez, who was to be given an opportunity to play third base on a regular basis, has been shifted back to shortstop.

Girardi indicated that Jeter, who normally resists any suggestion that he come out of the lineup, had not fought very hard to play this time.

"He understands," Girardi said. "[Jeter] is as tough as it gets. He's going to try to push through everything he can push through."