NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Game on! Derek Jeter is just a weekend away from resuming his march to 3,000 hits.
The shortstop is set to rejoin the Yankees on Monday in his return from a calf injury.
Jeter said Thursday he will play minor league rehab games Saturday and Sunday at Double-A Trenton and be with the Yankees for a series in Cleveland.
“I feel good now,” Jeter said after working out at the Yankees’ minor league complex. “I’m ready to get out of here.”
The team captain is six hits shy of 3,000. A return next week could put him on track to reach the milestone at Yankee Stadium during a four-game series against Tampa Bay from July 7-10. Then comes the All-Star break, and New York opens the second half with an eight-game road trip.
Jeter had been eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday but wasn’t ready. His bid to become the 28th major leaguer — and first with the Yankees — to get 3,000 hits has been on hold since he strained his right calf June 13 against the Indians.
“I hadn’t done anything for a couple weeks, so it takes a little while to get loose and get in baseball shape,” Jeter said.
Jeter, who turned 37 on Sunday, is batting .260 with two homers and 20 RBIs. He has 12 extra-base hits in 262 at-bats and a .324 on-base percentage.
Jeter increased his intensity in Thursday’s workout, running from home to first after hitting a ball and also turning double plays. He had 60 swings in batting practice, took grounders and ran from first to third.
“Things have gone well,” said Jeter, who is scheduled to workout Friday in Florida before departing for Trenton.
Also, converted reliever Mark Prior, on the DL at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because of a strained groin, could throw batting practice Saturday.
Right-hander Rafael Soriano, out with right elbow inflammation, has started long toss sessions.
The Jeter watch is almost back on — so when will he hit No. 3,000? Sound off below…
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