Yankees GM Brian Cashman: ‘It’s a possibility’ Derek Jeter misses opener
|03.21.13 at 12:42 pm ET|
You can add Derek Jeter to the extensive list of injured Yankees who might miss Opening Day. The Yankees will open their 2013 season on April 1 in the Bronx vs. the Red Sox. Jon Lester and CC Sabathia are the expected starters for opening day.
Jeter missed his second consecutive spring training game Wednesday, due to inflammation in his surgically repaired left ankle. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who is dealing with an injury of his own, said that there is a chance that the 13-time All-Star could begin the season on the disabled list.
“At this stage, I just don’t know, so all I can do is acknowledge it’s a possibility,” Cashman said.
The 38-year-old shortstop broke his ankle during the 2012 ALCS against the Tigers, in which the Yankees were defeated 4-0. Jeter recently received an anti-inflammatory injection in his ankle.
“We’ve got to do what’s right for him,” Cashman said. “Whatever’s right for him will be right for us. I’m not saying he’s going to be DL’ed, but I can’t tell you it won’t be. I don’t think it’s anything serious, I just think it’s a timing issue.”
Jeter played in his first spring training game on March 9 against the Braves, and has appeared in five total games. He was removed from the lineup Tuesday against the Phillies for “precautionary” reasons because his ankle felt stiff.
The future Hall-of-Famer led the American League in hits last season with 216, while also posting a .316 batting average, 15 homers and 58 runs batted in.
“The doctor said, basically, you can experience a lot of different things along the pathway, so it’s not a surprise,” Cashman said. “His rehab has gone extremely well, but obviously after the back to back, it barked a little bit. He’s going to have ups and downs in the early portion of it, but eventually at some point he’ll be past this. We’ve just got to make sure we take the right steps so it’s eventually behind him.”
The Yankees, even at full strength, figured to be in the running for the division crown but are far from the playoff lock that they used to be for much of the 2000s. Many have projected the new-look Blue Jays or the pitching-heavy Rays to lead the American League East race. Along with the Jeter injury, the Yankees have lost Curtis Granderson until at least May, Mark Teixeira indefinitely, and Alex Rodriguez, who is only a possibility to return in July following yet another hip surgery.
If Jeter is unable to start the season, Eduardo Nunez figures to be the starting shortstop when the Red Sox head to Yankee Stadium in 11 days.
“I know it’s tough,” longtime Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte said. “I think the doctors are saying everything is good. So, I think it’s just the process of getting everything strong and getting everything where it needs to be.”
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