The Yankees are bracing for the possibility of an Opening Day without Derek Jeter, as the captain's availability is now in doubt after an anti-inflammatory cortisone injection was administered to his left ankle on Wednesday morning.
General manager Brian Cashman said that the stiffness and soreness Jeter is experiencing with his surgically repaired ankle is not a serious setback, but Jeter may need to begin the year on the disabled list with the club's April 1 opener approaching.
"I just can't rule it out," Cashman said. "We've got to do what's right for him. Whatever is right for him, it will be right for us."
Jeter is expected to rest for at least the next few days following the injection, which was administered by Dr. Daniel Murphy in Tampa. Jeter was scratched from Tuesday's lineup against the Phillies and was not at George M. Steinbrenner Field for Wednesday's 4-0 win over the Red Sox.
"It's a little setback, but we'll get through it," manager Joe Girardi said. "What it means for today, tomorrow, the next day -- I can't tell you. But we'll get through it."
The Yankees have not fielded an Opening Day lineup without Jeter since 2001. In that game, Luis Sojo started at shortstop in place of Jeter, who was on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps.
CC Sabathia said that he has texted Jeter to wish him good luck, but New York's ace did not seem surprised that the team is uncertain about Jeter's availability for the opener.
Read more: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman unsure if captain Derek Jeter will be ready for Opening Day | MLB.com: News