NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he’s been cleared to start baseball activity in his recovery from a broken left ankle.
The 38-year-old team captain reiterated Wednesday that he is on track to be in New York’s starting lineup for the opener on April 1.
Jeter won’t take the field for workouts until later this month. The 13-time All-Star said that is his normal pre-spring training routine.
“I’ve got the OK to start,” Jeter said before a launch party for his Turn 2 Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic. “But I don’t start until next week or the week after, anyway. In terms of baseball activity, I’m right where I need to be.”
Jeter broke his ankle lunging for a grounder in Game 1 of the AL championship series against Detroit on Oct. 13. He had surgery a week later and the Yankees said recovery time would be four to five months.
“Great … the leg is good,” Jeter said.
Jeter had a resurgent season in 2012, leading the American League with 216 hits and batted .316 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs. He first injured his ankle in mid-September and then fouled balls off his foot several times after that.
The aging Yankees won the AL East last season and defeated Baltimore in the division series, then were swept by Detroit in the AL championship series.
“Why would we be too old? Too old, or experienced? Which word do you want to use?” Jeter said. “I’ll go into the spring and see who’s there. We’re always full of surprises. You never know what’s going to happen. We’ll see when we get there how the team looks. It’s a long season. I’m pretty sure we’re going to be competitive and be right where we need to be.”
Jeter’s foundation has given out more than $17 million in grants since 1996 to organizations that help steer young people away from alcohol and drugs.
Also on Wednesday, the Yankees announced there were no complications during Alex Rodriguez’s hip surgery. He’s not expected back until after the All-Star break.
“Hopefully his surgery went well and he gets back as soon as possible,” said Jeter. “I don’t know the details of how it usually takes, but you just want to make sure he’s healthy.”
NOTES: Among those attending the event were Tampa Bay Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer, who is returning this year for 65th professional season. “As ready as I can get,” Zimmer said with a smile about the upcoming season. … Tino Martinez, hired during the offseason as the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach, is looking forward to working the team’s young hitters. “I thought for me, a first-year coach, it was a great situation to come in to, to work young players,” Martinez said. The former Yankees star, who also considered a coaching position with Boston during the offseason, said managing is something he may consider in the future.
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