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Derek Jeter cleared for baseball activity

01/17/2013 11:21 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Derek Jeter, seen here with father Dr. Charles Jeter, has been cleared for baseball activity.(AP)
Less than a week after it was revealed that he had shed the walking boot protecting his surgically-repaired left ankle, Derek Jeter revealed Wednesday that he has been cleared to resume baseball activities and will do so very soon – right on schedule with any “normal” offseason.

"I got the OK to start baseball activities, but I don't start 'til next week or the week after anyway," Jeter said Wednesday while attending the launch party for the 10th Annual Derek Jeter Celebrity Golf Classic at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa. "In terms of baseball activities, I'm right where I need to be."

The 38-year-old shortstop, who had surgery to repair a fractured ankle on Oct. 20, was in a non-weight-bearing cast until “right after Christmas” and was in the walking boot until just days ago. He has already begun walking on an underwater treadmill at the Yankees’ Minor League complex in Tampa, and while Yankees General manager Brian Cashman said on Saturday that the Captain won't be cleared to run "until the very back end of this," he did think Jeter was well on his way toward his goal of being ready for Opening Day.

"[Jeter] was always expected to be behind in Spring Training, and he's always been expected to be 100 percent ready to go as our starting shortstop when the regular season starts," Cashman said. "CC and him, and probably Mo, they'll start slowly and finish strong."

On Wednesday, the Captain himself once again agreed when quizzed about his Opening Day readiness.

"Why not? I've always said [I'll be ready], for a long time,” he said.

The news of Jeter’s clearance came on the same day that the Yankees announced that Alex Rodriguez’s hip surgery went “as planned and without complication,” and the Captain spoke of his infield mate’s injury and how it may affect the season.

"Injuries are something you can never really account for," Jeter said. “Hopefully his surgery went well and he gets back as soon as possible. I don't know the details or how long it takes, but we just want to make sure he's healthy."

And, in that vein, Yankees fans don’t have to worry about Jeter possibly suffering a setback during Friday’s golf tournament; the Captain said Wednesday that he “still can’t golf,” and even if he wanted to, it might be wise to avoid it for another reason.

"I'm just putting," he said, smiling. "My golf game's not good."

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