With Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Phil Hughes are nursing injuries of varying severity, the New York Yankees were long overdue for some good news at camp down in Tampa. Well, they've finally got it.
Derek Jeter had one last check-up Thursday afternoon in North Carolina with the doctor who performed his ankle surgery in October, and was given "final clearance" to resume all manner of baseball activities, manager Joe Girardi told Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
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The 38-year-old shortstop is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut this Sunday, March 10, against the Blue Jays, so that should give about three weeks to get into playing shape. The Captain has yet to run the bases at full speed -- his final hurdle in returning to the diamond -- but barring any setbacks there, Jeter should be leading off for the Bronx Bombers come Opening Day.
Jeter is entering the final guaranteed year of his three-year contract with New York, but has an $8 million player option for the 2014 season as well. So long as Jeter makes it through 2013 largely unscathed, it seems a near certainty that he'll exercise that option come October.