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Derek Jeter taken for precautionary MRI and X-rays

Captain sent for tests after feeling stiffness in his surgically repaired left ankle
03/19/2013 4:17 PM ET
By Jon Lane
New York Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter was scratched from Tuesday's Spring Training lineup against the Philadelphia Phillies due to stiffness in his left ankle, the one surgically repaired in October. The Yankees announced that Jeter was taken for precautionary X-rays, which came back negative. An MRI was also performed and revealed mild inflammation of the ankle.

"I'll play again as soon as I can," Jeter said. "If I can play tomorrow, I'll play tomorrow. If it's the next day, it's the next day.''

Manager Joe Girardi told reporters that the shortstop had trouble getting loose and was flexing the ankle during batting practice.

"We've got to find out what we're dealing with and go from there," Girardi said. "When you're dealing with a rehab coming back from injury, you're going to deal with some ups and downs. That's the bottom line. Very seldom do you ever come back from a rehab where it just goes completely smooth. It's really went well up until this point. We've had a lot of good days. Today happened to be a not-so-good days."

Jeter is currently day-to-day. Prior to Jeter's removal, Girardi suggested that the captain could serve as the designated hitter Opening Day April 1 against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

"It could be Jeter, it could be (Eduardo) Nunez, it could be a lot of different people. It could be one of our right-handed-hitting outfielders."

Addressing the media, Jeter deflected any potential controversy.

"My job is to get ready to play," Jeter said. "First of all, we're not there yet, so it's really not even a discussion topic right now. I always like to be at short, regardless. Even if I wasn't coming off an injury, I'd like to be out there playing short. That's been the goal all along but I do what I'm told."

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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