The steps in his recovery seem to be coming much quicker now. Derek Jeter has progressed from hitting off a tee and doing some light soft toss to hitting in the cage and staking batting practice now. The veteran shortstop had not taken batting practice since suffering a re-fracture of his surgically-repaired ankle.
Derek Jeter took batting practice today down in Tampa for the first time since the second ankle fracture.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) June 19, 2013
The Yankees are still remaining mum on how long it will be before Jeter returns, but most estimates have him back on the field after the All-Star Game. That would give him plenty of time to continue his rehab and play in a few minor league games to get the feel again. Jeter has not played a competitive game since the American League Championship Series in October.
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Although the signs of recovery are all positive, the team has to be careful with Jeter's return. Everything looked positive during spring training until Jeter actually started playing games. Any optimism now might be tempered until it's seen how Jeter's ankle responds in real game action.
Last season seemed to be a bounce-back year for Jeter. He had seen the affects of age slowly start to erode his game, but last year he hit .316/.362/.429 with 15 home runs. He looked like he was poised to lead the Yankees to another World Series run until he broke his ankle. It will be interesting to see what he has left when he returns from this injury.
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