Derek Jeter grimaces in pain after breaking his ankle in Game 1 of the American… (Al Bello / Getty Images )
Derek Jeter, the venerable captain and shortstop of the New York Yankees, is likely to start the season on the disabled list, General Manager Brian Cashman acknowledged Sunday.
"I know Derek extremely well, and I can read his face," Cashman said. "And his face today tells me that the reality of his circumstances is starting to sink in, and the disabled list might be necessary. I told him what I think, and he didn't fight me on it. That's reality."
Jeter, 38, is trying to play himself back into shape after surgery to repair a broken left ankle he sustained in the playoffs in October. He played his first exhibition game as a designated hitter on March 9 but last week began to experience soreness when he played back-to-back games at shortstop.
Jeter, who is three for 11 in five exhibition games, received an anti-inflammatory injection Wednesday and returned to action Saturday as a designated hitter in an exhibition game with minor leaguers. But Cashman said it's obvious that Jeter is not ready to play shortstop full time.
"April 1 is unrealistic in my mind now," Cashman said of the season opener. "There's nothing new going on other than growing pains as he gets through these final hurdles of his rehab.
"We have to get him to be able to play shortstop. I don't think it's going to get him healthy DHing for us."
Eduardo Nunez would replace Jeter in the Yankees' lineup, which is already missing center fielder Curtis Granderson (broken forearm), first baseman Mark Teixeira (torn wrist tendon) and third baseman Alex Rodriguez (left hip surgery). Granderson is expected back in May, Teixeira in June or July and Rodriguez after the All-Star break.
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