Jeter has fractured ankle surgically repaired
Yanks captain out an estimated four to five months, eyes Spring Training return
NEW YORK -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter underwent surgery Saturday to repair a left ankle fracture. The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. Complete recovery is expected to take four to five months.
Jeter elected to have the procedure performed by Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist, after a CT scan and MRI confirmed the Yankees' original diagnosis of a fracture.
The Yankees expect that, even as he approaches age 39 and will be recovering from the broken ankle, Jeter will enter Spring Training as their regular shortstop and will be prepared to hold down the position.
"I'm hopeful that he's going to come back 100 percent," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "And I know he's going to do everything in his willpower to get back to 100 percent. Let's hope that he can come back."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he is entering the offseason with Jeter locked in as the club's starting shortstop, and does not believe finding a replacement will be on his winter task list.
"I haven't looked at that at this stage," Cashman said. "We do have Eduardo Nunez, we have Jayson Nix [as backups]. So it's not something we've focused on, and I wouldn't think that that's something I would gravitate to."
Jeter battled foot and ankle issues for most of the last two months of the Yankees' season and is believed to have been playing on a weakened ankle that required at least one cortisone injection before the injury.
He suffered the fracture lunging for a 12th-inning ground ball in New York's loss to the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. At the time, the Yankees announced that Jeter would need three months for a full recovery.
"I believe that Dr. Anderson just put in a more conservative timeframe on it, as explained to me," Cashman said. "So there's no new information, nothing seen worse than what our team doctor saw. But in terms of the timeframe, I just think [Anderson] wanted to be more conservative with it, so that's what we're going to go with.
"My understanding is that it's possible he will be ready earlier than that timeframe, but it is best to at least put out there four, five months as a safer bet."
Four months from the date of the surgery would be Feb. 20, when the Yankees will already be beginning workouts in Tampa, Fla., though the club expects Jeter to be ready for Spring Training.
If Jeter needs five months to recover, that would put him in the middle of the Grapefruit League exhibition schedule, so any setbacks will put his Opening Day availability in doubt.
"When the [doctor] says four to five months, they're giving you the longest period," Girardi said. "They're not going to give you the shortest period. Some guys are going to heal quicker than others. We really just don't know."
Jeter was fitted for a splint and crutches, and did not travel with the Yankees to Detroit for the ALCS.
The active career leader with 3,304 hits, the 38-year-old Jeter batted .316 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 159 games this season, leading the Major Leagues with 216 hits.
Cashman said after the ALCS that the Yankees would not blame the loss of Jeter for their disappointing, season-ending sweep at the hands of the Tigers.
"We didn't hit," Cashman said. "Jeter was hitting and then his replacement [Nunez] hit. We lost because a number of guys didn't hit, and it wasn't at the shortstop position."