Derek Jeter is one step closer to re-joining the New York Yankees roster. The 38-year old captain, who is recovering from a fractured ankle suffered last year during the playoffs, has slowly been progressing toward a return. Now, his return seems imminent. He will still have to work through some drills and likely go out on a rehab assignment, but Jeter has finally been cleared for all baseball activities.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com says Jeter will not begin hitting off a tee, playing catch, and fielding ground balls in the outfield grass. It may not seem like much progression, but this is a big step toward Jeter being able to play in simulated games, extended spring games, or being sent out on a rehab assignment. The Yankees expect Jeter back sometime after the All-Star break.
Jeter suffered a fractured ankle during the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers last year. He rehabbed throughout the winter and came back during spring training this season. However, Jeter continued to have issues with the ankle and was eventually diagnose with a re-fracture of the ankle. No additional surgery was required, but Jeter has yet to play a game this season.
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The aging veteran turns 39 later this year and is in the last year of his contract with the Yankees. No one is entirely sure what Jeter will have left when he return or what the Yankees will do with him this offseason. At this point, most fans just hope he can help the team in some capacity.
Jeter had a fantastic 2012 season. He hit .316/.362/.429 with 15 home runs. It was like vintage Jeter, but then the injury happened. Now, the 13-time All-Star's future is in jeopardy and no one will know what happens next until he gets back on the field.
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