Derek Jeter addresses the media on his injury status and plans for the future
Jeter spoke for nearly 20 minutes, answering questions ranging from the injury's genesis to his feelings on the situation to a possible timeline for his return, and below are his exact quotes listed alongside a synopsis of the question that led to his statements.
On how difficult the last six months have been: "It's been a difficult process, and it's been frustrating. Just when you think you're close to coming back, you have a setback. It's part of the healing process; when you get hurt it's supposed to take time, but unfortunately it's taking longer than I anticipated."
About a return in 2013: "No doubt in my mind [I'll be able to return this season]; when you have doubt, that's when you're in trouble. I've been told this bone will heal, and when it heals I'll be ready to go. It's frustrating that I can't magically make it heal sooner, but that's how it is."
On giving a timeline for his return: "I'm not giving a timeline. Last timeline I set I didn't make and I don't want to disappoint myself or anyone else. Whenever it heals, I'll be back."
On how or when the new injury happened: "It's the same bone but it's in the different spot. I'm not exactly sure when I did it. When we took the CT scans before Spring Training, the bone had healed. I'm not one to complain about being sore; I just go out there and play, which I did, but it never went away. I wasn't able to run or do what I wanted to do, so I had it checked out again and that's when we found out it was fractured. I'd assume it's been like that for quite some time but that's just an assumption. I don't know when I did it. I knew something was wrong but I'm not really one to complain."
On if he thinks the new injury occurred because the area is weakened: "It's a tough area because not a lot of blood flow goes to that area. We're doing some things to try to stimulate bone growth, but it's tough; all you can really do is wait. I wish I could accelerate it, but like I said there's no way to do it. It happens, it takes time, and some things take more time than others, but I'm doing everything I can to make sure this heals quickly."
On if he's glad doctors finally found the source of his pain: "I know my body, I knew something was wrong. I can't say I'm glad they found something, I wish they didn't find something, but all the things they thought it was, it wasn't. I knew something was wrong because I was in pain. I don't like talking about injuries - either you play or you don't - but I knew it was something more than tendinitis or stiffness, there was something making me unable to play."
On if he thinks the injury came because he pushed too hard to return from the first: "I don't think so, because when I took the two CT scans before I got on the field, both said the bone had healed and I could move forward. I wish I could explain what happened, but once it heals I'll be right back at it, and I'll be back as soon as I can. I really don't know what happened, but I don't think I pushed it too hard."
On if he regrets saying he hoped to be ready on Opening Day: "I don't because my job was to be ready for Opening Day; un fortunately I wasn't, so I feel like I didn't do my job. I think you have to set goals and try to reach them; I'm never one to just sit back and have a lot of patience when it comes to something being wrong. I regret the bone didn't heal, but not setting the date."
On if not giving a finite return date means he thinks this injury will take longer to heal: "I have a date in my mind as to when I'll be back, and that's as soon as possible. I don't think it's going to be longer, I always think it's going to be shorter. As soon as I can physically play, I'll play."
On how it has felt to be away from the team: "It's been frustrating. When I dislocated my shoulder (in 2003) and I missed I think six weeks, that was odd for me because I'm used to being out there. I don't like watching games, I like to be out there and with the team. Earlier on I wasn't able to be with the team because I was working on trying to get back, and then this happened. I'll be here for at least this homestand and we'll move forward from there."
On how mentally tough on him it has been to be away: "It's tough to not be around the team. I've had minor injuries and I've been pretty fortunate to only have one major injury beside this one, so I've always been around the team. One of the biggest things that bothers me the most is not being part of the team. I keep in touch with the guys, but I'm not around, so that's why I'll be here for this homestand. It's something I'm not familiar with."
On how hard he thinks it will be to get back to full strength: "I think I'll be very well-rested when I come back. I really can't answer that question because I've never done that. I don't know, but I don't think it will take long."
On whether or not Mariano Rivera's injury and comeback helped his attitude: "No. Regardless of what happened to Mo, I'm a pretty optimistic person. Mo's Mo, and we have the same mindset in terms of doing our jobs, but we're different people. I didn't need Mariano to get hurt and come back to put my mind at ease; I have a lot of confidence that the bone is going to heal and I'll be back out there playing again."
On if he ever thought he might not be able to come back: "No. It's a bone that broke, and eventually it heals. How long that takes depends on the person. The doctor told me when it heals, it heals, and I'll be fine. Sometimes it takes a little longer, but I never had a doubt that I'll be back."
On any feedback he has gotten from teammates: "I keep in touch with them; there are a lot of new guys I'm seeing for the first time, but they all send me well wishes. To the fans, I'll be back soon."
On Eduardo Nunez: "I don't have the MLB package at my house so I can't see a lot of games (laughs), but Nunez will be fine. I've been working with Nunie the last couple years and seen him develop, and I'm happy he's getting the opportunity to play. He'll be fine."
On the next hurdle for him to clear: "The doctors and the CT scan…I can fake my way past people but you can't really fake a CT scan. Whenever that shows the bone is healed, then we'll move on."
On when that next CT scan may be: "Nothing planned…if it were up to me I'd do it every day to see how it's progressing, but I don't know how much that costs."
On whether or not his mobility will be the same: "Yes, as far as they've told me."
On his next short term goal: "The doctor told me I have to wear the boot; I don't want to wear it, and I don't think I have to wear it, but I follow directions. It doesn't hurt any more now than it ever did. I can still do exercises and still work out everything else but this ankle. I'm sure I'll talk to the docs and figure out the next step soon, but for now there's not much I can do but play it by ear."
On being in good spirits: "I've been stuck in the training room for pretty much the last month, doing physical therapy and rehab. This is the first time I've been out of there in quite some time, so I'm happy to be out of there. But of course, it's frustrating, and when I got the news it wasn't good news. I thought I'd go see the doc and it would be something different, but that wasn't the case. It didn't feel so good for quite some time, and I'm upset I can't play."
On if age played a role in his injury: "Breaking my ankle didn't happen just because I got older; I played on something I probably shouldn't have played on, and it broke. I might feel different if my body had started breaking down; then I might wonder how much longer I could do this, but it's a freak thing and I have to deal with it. If I was 22 years old, I'm pretty sure it would take some time to heal then, too."
On if he'll treat injuries different going forward: "Nope. I don't talk about injuries, because I think it's just making an excuse for yourself. You either play or you don't, and I'm only talking about this because I'm not playing. No one wants to hear excuses."
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