Derek Jeter expects to be ready for Opening Day

BDUOFTyCAAAGw7IYankees captain Derek Jeter met the media outside George M. Steinbrenner Field on Sunday and that he plans to be playing shortstop when the team opens the season on April 1 against the Red Sox in New York.

Jeter said that his surgically repaired left ankle will keep him out of the Yankees’ early exhibition games, but doesn’t believe that he will need all of Spring Training to get into baseball shape. He also revealed that his ankle now contains plates and screws, which he’ll keep, and said that he’s ready to move forward with his running program.

“I broke my ankle in October; it’s been quite some time,” Jeter said. “I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Up until this point, the ankle has healed perfectly, now it’s just a matter of getting everything else in shape.

“You’ve got to wait for the bone to heal before you can do other activities that are even before baseball activities. Now it’s just progressing up until that point. I’m going to have to push myself, but Opening Day has been the goal all along.”

Jeter said that he spent five to six weeks on the couch after shattering his ankle and even had to use a scooter to get around for part of the winter. He acknowledged that he probably shouldn’t have been playing on the ankle, which had a bone bruise that got worse and worse. Jeter said that he expects to get back to being the same player again, even as he heads into a season that will see him turn 39 in June.

“As much as I’d like to be getting younger, I’m not,” Jeter said. “Everybody’s getting older. There’s always going to be questions; there always has been questions. I don’t mind that. But it’s not like I go out saying, ‘I’ve got to prove something.’ I just want to continue to improve. That’s just the approach I’ve always taken.”

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