Derek Jeter is back at Yankee Stadium, though he’s still not sure when he’ll be playing there next.
The New York captain temporarily relocated his rehab from Tampa, Fla., to the Bronx as he recovers from his broken left ankle. He said before Saturday’s game against the Rays that he wanted to ”break things up” and be around the team.
He was taking batting practice Saturday and is doing everything but running outside. The shortstop says he’s not sure when he’ll start that last step.
”I would assume in the next couple days,” he said.
The Yankees have expected a return sometime after the All-Star break in mid-July.
”Everything’s been going as good as it can go up to this point,” Jeter said.
Jeter hasn’t played this season after breaking his ankle in the ALCS opener Oct. 13. After surgery, he played just five spring training games because of soreness. A new break was discovered April 18.
He took on-field BP for the first time Wednesday at the Yankees’ minor league complex.
Asked if his visit was a request from the team, Jeter said, "No, I wanted to come up."
"I think it’s important," manager Joe Girardi said of having Jeter around. "Derek’s been a leader for a long time here. … I also think it’s important for him to be around the team. Sometimes when you get stuck in Tampa for a while you feel like you’re so far away."
Rays manager Joe Maddon was talking to reporters in his dugout before the game when he noticed Jeter trotting by and said with surprise, "Hey, it’s Derek." Maddon is used to seeing Jeter around, though — they sometimes run into each other in their local coffee shop in Tampa.
In other injured Yankees star news, Alex Rodriguez, coming back from hip surgery in January, had five simulated at-bats Friday, which suggests he should be close to returning, Girardi said. The third baseman had a hit and a couple of walks, the manager said.