Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 3/22/13

The next time fans see Derek Jeter in action it won't even be on the Off-Broadway stage of Steinbrenner Field — at least during spring training. The Yankees shortstop — who has been nursing his inflamed left ankle for the past three days — is looking to return to action and, if he does, it will be in minor league games at the team's training complex across the street from the ballpark. That's Off-Off-Broadway in New York City circles. The Yankees aren't taking chances that Jeter might end up opening the season on the disabled list.  By sending him to the minors it would allow the Yankees to back-date Jeter's potential stint on the DL the maximum 10 days. Meaning Jeter would be eligible to return to the Yankees' fifth game of the regular-season — as long as he doesn't play in another Grapefruit League game. With that scenario in mind, general manger Brian Cashman said Thursday that Jeter would be limited to minor league games the rest of the way no matter how well his ankle responds in the coming days. Despite the "cranky" ankle,  Jeter is still focused on being on the Opening Day roster at Yankee Stadium. "I think we need to preserve the ability to back-date him in the event that he's not going to make it," Cashman said. Jeter was scratched from the lineup Tuesday in Clearwater after experiencing increased stiffness in his ankle, though an MRI revealed only mild inflammation. He received a cortisone shot on Wednesday. Jeter said his ankle felt much better after the injection, leaving him hopeful that he would return to the practice field as soon as Friday. Although Cashman and Joe Girardi both called this week's events a setback for Jeter, the Captain said he doesn't view it the same way. "I wouldn't call it a setback; it's what's supposed to happen," Jeter said. "That's what I've been told. The last couple of days I talked to the doc, and he said it's supposed to happen. It's all normal. Everything is fine. Ligaments, bone, everything is perfect. It's just, that's what happens after you have surgery. "I told you guys, my goal is Opening Day. It doesn't change. Nothing has changed from my point of view."

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