The Captain is back! Derek Jeter made his triumphant return to Yankee Stadium on Thursday against the Kansas City Royals. All must be right with the New York Yankees now right?
Well, not so fast because as soon as Jeter came back, Jeter is gone again. After pulling up short on his last at-bat in the eighth inning, Jeter will now miss the next few games as he felt tightness in his right quad and will be evaluated over the weekend and All-Star break. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain in his quad.
After breaking his ankle in last year’s American League Championship Series, Jeter has been out rehabbing his injury. He made a short stint in Spring Training but had to go back on the DL once more after hurting his ankle again and has been out ever since. Well, this week Jeter got the okay from team doctors to start rehab games. He headed to Triple-A and begin his rehab assignment with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on July 7.
The plan was for Jeter to play a few games to get himself ready for the season. Things didn’t go according to plan though as the Yankees rushed him back too early despite not having played more than seven innings once in his few games in Triple-A. He was scheduled to play nine innings in back-to-back games for the RailRiders but the Yankees were desperate to have him back and the Captain was desperate to be back. What’s the worse that can happen right? Well, Jeter getting injured is the worse that can and did happen.
The Yankees wanted Jeter back as soon as possible because of all the injuries they have faced this season with the big sluggers being out for most of the year in Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and of course the always controversial Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez is also in the minors in the moment playing his rehab games as well and has looked more ready to comeback than Jeter had in his short rehab stint, yet the Yankees wanted the Captain back now to help ride the ship out as everyone else makes their way back into the lineup.
The Yankees failed to realize that this isn’t a 25 year-old Jeter making his way back from an injury, this is a 39 year-old Jeter making his way back from injury and the Yankees had to make sure he was 110 percent ready to come back as his body doesn’t respond as it once did. Now, he may be on his way back to the DL and out of the lineup that desperately needed the Captain’s guidance as it struggles to keep up with the first place Boston Red Sox in the American League East. The Yankees currently trail the Red Sox by six games and are currently sitting in fourth place.
Everything looked great at first when Jeter came up to bat for the first time this season in the Bronx and ran out an infield single. He looked great running the base paths and his ankle looked to be healed but what the Yankees didn’t consider is that when a person injures himself in one are of the body, the rest of the surrounding areas may suffer as well because all the pressure and attention is being put in that one area and that is what happened. With the ankle being healed, the right quadricep suffered and gave out a bit on him.
The weekend and the added All-Star break will definitely help Jeter in the healing process but it is still unsure how the injury will response once the break is over and if the Captain will be heading back on the shelf. All the Yankees can do now is hope Jeter gets better during this break, if not then they have learned their lesson and will now know when not to rush back the Captain!