The Yankees will shut down Derek Jeter through the All-Star break after he suffered a Grade 1 quad strain on Thursday, his first game of the season after coming back from a broken ankle.
"We're going to play it safe for the weekend and see what happens," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said at a Friday news conference. "We're going to evaluate sometime after that."
Holding Jeter out for the weekend, the Yankees hope, combined with the All-Star break will give their captain enough time to avoid another disabled-list stint. The Yankees return to game action after the break on July 19 at Boston.
Jeter's return to the Yankees started out triumphant. He legged out an infield single in the first inning and eventually scored a run. His left ankle — broken in the 2012 postseason and saddled with setbacks since the spring — looked fine. Later in the game, however, Jeter hurt his right quad running to first base. An MRI revealed the Grade 1 strain.
Cashman said at the Friday news conference that maybe the Yankees bringing Jeter back sooner than expected contributed to the injury, but it was hard to say for sure. Jeter was supposed to return to the lineup Friday, per the Yankees rehab plans. He was scheduled to DH in Triple-A on Thursday, but Cashman decided it wouldn't be much different if Jeter DH'd for the Yankees. In his own defense, Cashman noted that Jeter could have strained his quad in Triple-A too.
Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan says Jeter missing a week would be the best case scenario. Such a quad injury, Passan says, usually takes two or three weeks to heal, and could sideline Jeter until August.
Losing Jeter, 39, to the disabled list again would be a big blow for the Yankees — not only because they need bodies, but also mentally. They've already had Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis return from injury this season, only to go back on the disabled list shortly after. Adding Jeter to the body count would be crushing.
"We just have to give it some time and see how he responds," Cashman said.
Judging from the Yankees' luck this year, Cashman better be crossing every finger and toe he has.