Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/15/14

New York Yankees Derek Jeter hits into a fielder's choice against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York, Monday, September 7, 2009. (David Pokress/Newsday/MCT) Photo via Newscom

Getty Images

There are a couple of things that New Yorkers have come to count on at Yankee Stadium every Opening Day — the sight of what MLB's fattest payroll looks like and Derek Jeter filling the gap at shortstop.  This might be the first spring that the team has neither. While general manager Brian Cashman breaks down the Yankees' payroll so it is under the luxury tax limit, manager Joe Girardi isn't making any guarantees that Jeter's fractured ankle will be fully healed by the April 1 Opening day in the Bronx. "I think there's a little bit of a question, but I think he'll find a way," said Girardi on Thursday.  "That's who he is." Jeter broke his ankle on Oct. 13 while lunging for a ground ball during Game 1 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers  The images of Jeter grimacing in pain near second base and then being helped off the field by Girardi and the staff are some pictures that fans would like to erase from their memories of the shortstop. The 38-year-old Jeter is reportedly at his mansion in Tampa and said to be keeping weight off his ankle until January — which would cut into his normal off-season conditioning program. The injury wasn't initially thought to require surgery but the Yankee Captain ended up under the knife in October — a procedure which lengthened the recovery time to at least four months. "You have to get back to full strength, and maybe you're not able to start doing the things you normally would in January," Girardi said.  "I mean, it could be, but I think he'll find a way." Girardi has spoken to Jeter occasionally throughout the off-season and Cashman said he has plans to have him as his regular shortstop in 2013.  That is contingent on Jeter's recovery time.  Four months of rehab would have him ready for the Grapefruit League Spring Training schedule.  Five months would probably sideline the future Hall of Famer until after Opening Day. "I think his mood's OK," said Girardi.  "Derek always finds a way to deal with what he's going through." Knowing Jeter's dedication to the game and how much missing Opening Day would mean to him, don't be kidded into believing that he won't be leading off on April Fool's Day.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

Dick Vitale will not call Duke-UNC rematch either

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

Chris Sale out three weeks with foot injury

NHL analyst calls out media over Blackhawks report

Alabama recruits aim to bring the dynasty back

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Rousey beats Zingano in 14 seconds

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.