It looks like Derek Jeter's post-surgery rehabbing is coming along right on schedule and his offseason prediction that he expects to be ready for Opening day in the Bronx is not a forgone boast.
Tuesday, the New York Yankees shortstop was pictured for the first time without a special boot to protect his repaired left ankle that he fractured during the ALCS.
Jeter, who underwent surgery in October, was spotted outside the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa — where he has been slowly rehabilitating his ankle with an underwater treadmill since the beginning of the month.
The Captain has not — and will not — step on the diamond to field ground balls until he has passed a few tests to insure that he hasn't suffered any setbacks.
General manager Brian Cashman said Jeter — along with other rehabbing veterans Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia — will be brought along slowly throughout spring training camp.
From Tuesday's photo, it looks as if Jeter has lost the extra poundage he put on in the first few weeks of rehab and even had a friendly wave for the cameraman. A photo of the chubbier Jeter went viral earlier this winter.
"I thought it was pretty funny," Jeter said of the photo. "I guess there's a lot of things you can do with a picture. People were telling me I lost a lot of weight and then two days later I'm on the front page of the New York Post."
The slimmer version of Jeter only made the back page today.