Derek Jeter believes there is no doubt that he will be ready to start on Opening Day. The New York Yankees Captain is coming off a severely broken ankle that he injured during the playoffs this past October. Though his workload will be a little lighter than in past springs the 38 year old shortstop knows he is right on schedule to be ready for the 2013 season.
"I broke my ankle in October. It's been quite some time," Jeter said to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. "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 injured his left ankle by lunging for a ground ball in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. During the operation the Yankee Captain needed screws and plates inserted to stabilize the shattered ankle. Derek was playing on an ankle already besieged by a bone bruise sustained at the end of the season and probably shouldn't have pushed the envelope to continue till that was originally healed.
"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."
Jeter has been running on a treadmill and now will transition that to the field. It will be two to three weeks before Derek actually gets into a Spring Training game. According to his physicians his ankle is almost has complete range of motion once again. The life-long Yankee does not believe he actually needs an entire Spring Training to be ready for that first pitch in April even though he is closing in on his 39 birthday in June.
I don't think you necessarily need all of Spring Training to get ready," Jeter said. "There have been years when I've played in the WBC and missed the majority of Spring Training — and was still able to get ready. As much as I'd like to be getting younger, I'm not," Jeter said. "Everybody's getting older. There's always going to be questions, there always has been questions. I don't mind that. But it's not like I go out saying, 'I've got to prove something.' I just want to continue to improve. That's just the approach I've always taken."
Jeter's drive and determination will make sure he will be ready for Opening Day 2013, that you can count on.
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