Nobody is more excited to return to baseball than Derek Jeter.
Last season came to a crushing end for the Yankees captain, who fractured his ankle in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series in October, and Jeter says the ensuing offseason has been a nightmare.
“My offseason was terrible,” he told reporters Sunday. “Absolutely terrible.”
Jeter was reportedly unable to walk on his injured ankle for long periods of time, prompting him to ride a motorized scooter through the halls of his 30,000-foot mansion for much of the winter. That doesn’t sound like a terrible way to spend your downtime, but the shortstop was anything but amused.
“I don’t want to make it sound more dramatic than it is, but you have to learn to walk again,” Jeter said. “In that sense, physically, it was a challenge. Mentally, it was a challenge when you are sitting on the couch and you can’t get anywhere. So I had a little scooter to move around. It was tough. It was not fun.”
Though he has been out of commission for much of the past five months, Jeter stressed that he has been working hard to keep his body active and fully expects to return by the time the Yankees host the Red Sox on Opening Day.
“Why wouldn’t it be realistic?” he said. “I broke my ankle in October. It has been quite some time. I’m right where I’m supposed to be up until this point. The ankle has healed perfectly. Now, it is just a matter of getting everything else in shape. You have to wait for the bone to heal before you can do other activity.”
Jeter is currently working out with the team at the Yankees’ spring training facilities in Tampa.
Video screenshot via MLB.com