Derek Jeter Takes Batting Practice at Yankee Stadium, Expected to Return Mid-July

Derek JeterNEW YORK — Derek Jeter was back at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, still not sure when he’ll play there next.

The New York captain relocated his rehab from Tampa, Fla., to the Bronx for a couple of days as he recovers from his broken left ankle. He said before Saturday’s game against the Rays that he wanted to “break it up” and be around the team.

He took batting practice and grounders from his spot at shortstop with his teammates Saturday. Jeter is doing everything but running outside. He isn’t certain when he’ll start that last step.

“I would assume in the next couple days,” he said.

Jeter is expected back sometime after the All-Star break in mid-July.

“Everything’s been going as good as it can go up to this point,” he 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 and again Saturday. That latest step suggests he should be close to returning, Girardi said. On Friday, the third baseman had a hit and a couple of walks, the manager said. On Saturday, he had three grounders to short, a line single to center and a walk against a minor league left-hander.

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