Less than three months since he underwent surgery on his fractured left ankle, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has removed his walking boot and begun to work out at the team’s Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., general manager Brian Cashman told MLB.com.
Jeter, who suffered the injury during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Oct. 7, is expected to be ready for Opening Day on April 1. The 18-year veteran enjoyed a bounceback season in 2012, batting .316 with 15 home runs and a league-leading 216 hits.
Yankees ace CC Sabathia (left elbow surgery) and closer Mariano Rivera (right knee surgery) are also in the midst of rehab.
“[Jeter] was always expected to be behind in Spring Training, and he’s always been expected to be 100 percent ready to go as our starting shortstop when the regular season starts,” Cashman said. “CC and him, and probably Mo, they’ll start slowly and finish strong.”
“He’s doing fine,” Cashman said of Jeter. “All the boots are off. He’s allowed to walk around now in shoes and stuff, but he’s not doing any running. He’s at the complex and they have an underwater treadmill, so he’s doing some walking underwater.
“Sometime in mid-to-late January, he’ll be cleared for some baseball activities; hitting and fielding. He won’t be doing any running until the very back end of this. That’s the plan so far, and he’s doing well.”
Yankees players are expected to report to spring training by Feb. 17 and play their spring training opener on Feb 23. Third-year pro Eduardo Nunez is the only other shortstop on their roster.