Derek Jeter's schedule will be lighter than usual while he returns from a left ankle injury this spring, but the Yankees' shortstop said that he expects to be ready for Opening Day.
Jeter will not appear in the Yankees' early exhibition games because of his surgically repaired left ankle. He said that his recovery is on schedule, and he plans to move his running program from the treadmill to the field in the next few days.
"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 had plates and screws inserted in his ankle, which shattered as he lunged for a ground ball in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, and that they are likely to remain there permanently.
He also said that he probably should not have been playing on the ankle, which had already been weakened by a nagging bone bruise. But the captain had no regrets about continuing to take the field for the Yankees' playoff run.
"If you can play, you play," Jeter said. "Like I've always told you before, I don't think you ever really talk about injuries, because then it's an excuse. I was told I was able to play, so I played. Unfortunately, [my ankle] broke. But I would do the same thing over again if I had to."
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