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Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Derek Jeter Hopes to Return on Opening Day to the Yankees

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced Wednesday that he hopes to return to the field on Opening Day on April 1, after having his left ankle surgically repaired.

Jeter broke his left ankle diving for a grounder in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. The surgery took place a week later and the team said his recovery would take between four to five months. But he admits the road to recovery has not been easy.

“I feel good. It was a tough first five, six weeks where you sit on your couch with your feet elevated but now I feel as though I’m moving around pretty good,” Jeter told The Associated Press while attending his Turn 2 Foundation holiday party at Yankee Stadium. “I think I’m right where I need to be.”

While Jeter has been recovering he admits that he has not paid close attention to offseason speculation about free agents and possible trades.

“I check the name tags when we get into spring training,” he said in regards to learning who his new teammates will be.

Two name tags that will not be in the locker room next season are Eric Chavez and Russell Martin. Chavez agreed to a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday and Martin left in free agency for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 38-year-old Yankees captain expects for other teammates to step up their play next season with the loss of Alex Rodriguez until early next summer, who needs left hip surgery.

“You can’t sit around and hand your head. You have to move forward,” Jeter said.

Jeter had an impressive year for the Yankees. He led the AL with 216 hits and batted .316 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs. He also made the All-Star team for the 13th time in his career.

Jeter managed to continue to put up impressive numbers after first injuring his ankle in mid-September. Throughout the season he fouled several ball off his foot after that, but insisted on keep playing.

“It was sore. You don’t really talk about it. You play or you don’t play,” he said. “I felt as if I can play on it. I played on it for some time. I guess I pushed it a little too much.”

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