Mark Teixeira knows exactly what Derek Jeter is going through mentally and physically regarding ankle injuries. Back in 2001 while playing collegiate ball for Georgia Tech, a young Teixeira suffered a similar ankle injury. Tex, who was only 20 at the time, suffered it while playing third base and chasing down a routine pop fly that turned into a disaster.
Weeks before his 21st birthday Teixeira had extensive surgery on his ankle, which resulted in screws being placed in the ankle. Basically he was put on the of a DL. A few months later he returned to play the final nine games of the season. Teixeira ended up rushing his return, and it started becoming an irritating issue for the next few years of his college career.
Teixeira said he “wasn’t right for two years” after his ankle injury. But he thinks the 39-year-old Yankee Captain will have an easier time than he did and will end up surprising all the doubters out there this year.
Basically, he said Jeter knows how old he is, knows he’s retiring at the end of the season, and doesn’t have to hold anything back. He knows Jeter will have some soreness during the season, but shouldn’t worry about it. He said Jeter should be able to tough it out and play through any pain or soreness, knowing this is his last season.
We are well aware of the Captain’s train of thought towards playing, and his strong and willing work ethic. So far this spring Jeter has played in a couple of spring training games so and has looked good so far. He has made a few nice defensive plays and is clearly showing he can run the bases. The ultimate test for Jeter will be when he is eventually penciled in to play some back to back games, which he will today.
I know fans and critics alike think Jeter might try and push himself too far to fast, but Jeter has come out and said on multiple occasions he knows what is at stake this season and what he has to do to get himself back to playing like an everyday shortstop. But like I said, Jeter has looked good so far and has had no setbacks.
Teixeira on the other hand isn’t as far along with his wrist injury as Jeter is with his ankle injury. There are definitely still some questions regarding Teixeira. He might be more important to the overall lineup of this season then any player coming back from injury this spring.
I don’t think everyone should be as worried about Jeter this season. I think we should be more worried about Mark Teixeira’s wrist, his bat and glove are just as important to the team. Joe Girardi and company will be paying close and careful attention to the gold glove first baseman this spring, and I will also. If we expect to make the playoffs and contend for our 28th title both Tex and Jeter will be instrumental in making that a reality.