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Jeter might miss start of season

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Mar 21 2013 09:32:34 AM CDT
Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Ray Stubblebine/Reuters

The New York Yankees have operated all spring as though Derek Jeter's presence in the lineup on Opening Day was a foregone conclusion. As of Wednesday, that was no longer the case.

General manager Brian Cashman indicated that Jeter could open the regular season on the disabled list after the shortstop received a cortisone injection to treat inflammation in his surgically repaired left ankle.

"I can't rule it out," Cashman said. "I'm not saying he's going to be a DL, but I can't tell you he won't be."

Jeter played back-to-back games at shortstop March 15-16, then had the next two days off. He was supposed to play March 19 against the Phillies before being scratched, and he was sent to a doctor after feeling stiffness in his ankle. X-rays were negative, but an MRI showed mild inflammation.

"The doctor said basically you can experience a lot of different things along the pathway, so it's not a surprise," Cashman said. "Sometimes you can get through this stuff, sometimes you can't, without any incidents.

"(Jeter) has been fantastic. His rehab has gone extremely well, but obviously after the back-to-back, it barked a little bit. We just have to back off."

If Jeter is unable to start the season, Eduardo Nunez would assume the everyday shortstop duties. Jeter likely will see a lot of time as the designated hitter early in the season, making Nunez's consistency crucial for the Yankees.

"There's a reason (manager) Joe Girardi played Nunez at shortstop the entire spring," Cashman said. "In the event that we ever have any issues as we move through this stuff, we'll have someone ready to go."