Derek Jeter Insists He’ll Be Ready to Play in New York on Opening Day

December 4, 2012 – 8:00 am by Steven Cuce

The last image New York Yankees fans saw of Derek Jeter was him being helped off the field by Steve Donohue and Joe Girardi during Game 2 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Jeter broke his ankle and needed surgery immediately. Well, for the first time since his injury in October, the Yankees’ captain spoke with the media about his recovery.

Contrary to a photo that was making waves over the Internet last week, Jeter believes his ankle rehabilitation is going just as planned. Jeter believes he’ll be ready for Opening Day of 2013.

Derek Jeter joined ESPN Radio New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss the New York Post fabricating a picture of him being fat by calling him ‘Derek Eater,’ the Post picture not upsetting him, the possibility of considering life after his baseball career, his status for Opening Day coming off ankle surgery and the significance of Alex Rodriguez’s hip surgery to the Yankees’ success.

I saw a picture that Harold Reynolds tweeted out of you yesterday. You looked lean and mean. Then I looked at the New York Post the other day and they made you out that you weren’t. First of all, what did you think when you saw that picture?

“I thought it was pretty funny. I guess there’s a lot of things you can do with a picture. The funny thing is, a day or two before that, people were telling me I looked like a lost a lot of weight. And two days later I’m on the front page of the New York Post. So they had a little fun with it, but it’s over and done with.”

Did the New York Post photo of you upset you? “Derek Eater,” they called you. It wasn’t flattering at all was it?

“I’m not battling with the New York Post. That’s a no-win situation. I guess they do what they do. They had fun with it, but I had a lot of messages from a lot of different people asking what I have been doing.”

As you were being taken off the field with your ankle injury, did the thought creep into your mind about life after baseball?

“No, not at all. My ankle was bothering me a little bit. I knew something happened. I felt it pop, so I figured it was broken somewhere. But no, I didn’t think about that. I was thinking about how I’d get ready for the next season.”

How are you getting ready? How’s the ankle right now? Will you be ready for the start of the season?

“Yeah, no question. I’ll be in the walking boot for another few weeks, and then I’ll be good to go. It’s been a long process. What’s it been, six or seven weeks, where I haven’t been able to move too much. But it’s healing probably just as expected. We still got a long way to go before the season starts, but I’ll be ready.”

Alex Rodriguez will need hip surgery in January and will be out four to six months. How big of an injury is this to the Yankees team?

“I just heard about it a little while ago. I don’t want to comment on it prematurely, but first and foremost you want Alex to be healthy. That’s the No. 1 key. I don’t know enough details to comment on it, but injuries are part of the game. You try to avoid them as much as possible.  You want everybody to be healthy. Alex is a big part of our team, and hopefully he can get back soon.”

Listen to Derek Jeter on 98.7 ESPN Radio New York here

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