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Joe Girardi says Derek Jeter’s status for Opening Day “is a little bit of a question”

Nov 16, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

New York Yankees shortstop Jeter screams as he injures himself fielding a ball hit by  Detroit Tigers' Peralta during the 12th inning of Game 1 of their MLB ALCS playoff baseball series in New York Reuters

Joe Girardi cast some doubt on Derek Jeter‘s ability to return from a broken ankle by Opening Day, saying yesterday that “there’s a little bit of a question” about whether he’ll be recovered in time to be in the Yankees’ lineup.

Jeter broke his left ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS and underwent surgery on October 20, with initial reports pegging his recovery timetable as 4-5 months. That would mean returning during spring training and Girardi stressed that he believes Jeter “will find a way” to do that, but also admitted it’s no sure thing “because of the rehab and you have to get the full strength and maybe you’re not able to start doing the things you normally would in January.”

Not mentioned by Girardi is that even if Jeter is healthy enough to start playing in spring training and able to be in the Yankees’ lineup for Opening Day the odds of him picking up right where he left off defensively as a 39-year-old shortstop coming back from a broken ankle seem pretty long. And of course while Jeter has five Gold Glove awards the last of those came in 2010 and his defense has long been viewed as a negative based on advanced metrics.

Simply by being a 38-year-old everyday shortstop and by hitting .316 following back-to-back seasons in which he appeared to be declining offensively Jeter has bucked the odds in a huge way already, but Girardi having doubts about his ability to continuing doing so following a broken ankle definitely seem sensible.

  1. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    the odds of him picking up right where he left off defensively as a 39-year-old shortstop coming back from a broken ankle seem pretty long.

    This is a joke right? If he walked back out there the next day with the broken ankle he’d have picked it up defensively, right where he left off…

  2. blackheld - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    I’m a Tigers’ fan. Have been since I was old enough to understand the word ‘baseball’. That said, there are…and have been…a few players over the years who have transcended normal fan favoritism, and become the property of baseball, itself, belonging to all fans everywhere, without regard for the single team they actually played for..

    Players like Willie Mays. Like Ernie Banks. Players who never ascribed to the theory that anything was more important than The Game.

    Players, perhaps, like Derek Jeter.

    I’ll miss Jeter, when he retires. I’ll miss the things he did so easily, that others couldn’t do at all. I’ll miss the feeling that as long as Jeter was there, like Mays and Banks and perhaps a half dozen others before him, that baseball was going to be okay.

    I’ll miss that as much as anything, I think. But maybe not this year.

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