NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Will the captain be starting at shortstop for the Bronx Bombers on Opening Day?
That remains to be seen, but manager Joe Girardi believes there’s a solid chance that Derek Jeter will take the field with his teammates when the Yankees kick off the 2013 season.
The future Hall of Famer and 13-time All-Star fractured his left ankle on October 13 during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers. The 38-year-old fielded a ball awkwardly in the 12th inning and had to leave the game. He would go on to miss the rest of the series.
The 17th-year player underwent surgery in October, and the Yankees announced that Jeter would likely need four to five months to fully recover.
But Jeter isn’t just your everyday player, and his manager is fully aware of that.
“I think there’s a little bit of a question (if he’ll be ready for Opening Day), but I think he’ll find a way,” Girardi said on Thursday. “That’s who he is.”
The five-time Gold Glove Award winner is currently in Tampa, Florida, according to the Yankees’ official website, and he plans to keep weight off of his ankle until January.
Naturally, his offseason routine will be altered as a result of the procedure and its aftereffects.
“You have to get to full strength, and maybe you’re not able to start doing the things you normally would in January,” Girardi said. “I mean, it could be (that he misses the opener), but I think he’ll find a way.”
The skipper informed reporters that he’s spoken with the five-time World Series champion “a little bit” since the Yankees were swept in the ALCS.
As always, the shortstop is keeping things in perspective and focusing on the positives.
“I think his mood’s OK,” Girardi said. “Derek always finds a way to deal with what he’s going through.”
Jeter had an excellent season in 2012, batting .316 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs. He had 216 hits, 99 runs scored, 32 doubles and posted a .362 on-base percentage.
In the American League Division Series against the Orioles, Jeter went 8-for-22 with a double, a triple, four runs scored and two RBIs.
Do you think the captain will take the field when the Yankees open the season against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on April 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…