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Sep 2, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (2) hits an RBI single during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Jeter on Comeback Trail

New York Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter, took on-field batting practice Monday for the first time since his 2013 season was abruptly ended due to injuries. Jeter hit well to all fields during a five-round, 39-swing session at the Yankees’ minor league complex. He also took grounders at shortstop for the first time this year, fielding 34 balls. “Everything is good so far, knock on wood,” Jeter said. Jeter turns 40 in July, and is coming off a nightmarish season, in which played in only 17 games due to a broken ankle he suffered in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS. Jeter however says he is not concerned about those who doubt his ability to return from the injury. “My job is to be ready to play,” Jeter said. “I remember when I was 35, everyone said that was it. He can’t play anymore. End of my career. So, it’s really nothing different. Eventually, somebody is going to be right, you know what I mean? You’re going to run out of numbers.”

Jeter, who admitted to possibly worsening the injury last spring training due to his rush to get back on the field, says that all is going well this time around. “This offseason is like a normal offseason,” said Jeter, who was in a walking boot until January of last year. “I’m four months ahead of where I was last year. Last year, quite honestly, I want to forget about it.” Jeter missed the first 91 games of the 2013 season, then felt pain his right quadriceps when he returned July 11. He went back on the DL, returned July 28 for three games, then strained his right calf. He returned to lineup August 26, and played through September 7, when he left a game against Boston for a pinch runner. Four days later, the Yankees announced that Jeter’s season was over. Jeter finished his brief 2013 season with an average of .190 with one homer, and 7 RBI.

Yankees pitchers and catchers report for duty February 15. Jeter says he’ll remain at the minor league complex until the first full big league workout on February 20. Here’s to hoping he is the Jeter of old, and will be ready to help lead the Yankees to number 28…

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