Derek Jeter finally conceded the obvious Tuesday: He won't be ready to play on Opening Day.
The New York Yankees shortstop will open the season on the 15-day disabled list due to soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle.
"Of course it's disappointing," Jeter told reporters. "I told you guys all along, my goal was to be ready on Opening Day, and I didn't reach it. So, yeah, it's disappointing."
Jeter broke the ankle during last fall's American League Championship Series, but he said he was back at 100 percent when he reported to spring training.
He eased his way into Grapefruit League action, seeing action in the field as well as at the plate, before he began experiencing ankle stiffness in mid-March. Jeter was shut down and given a cortisone injection, but he won't be ready to resume action in time for the Yankees' Monday opener against the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees can backdate Jeter's placement on the disabled list, so the team captain will be eligible to play April 6 against the Detroit Tigers, the fifth game of the season.
However, Jeter wouldn't set a timetable for his return.
"I'm going to stop putting dates on it," he said. "As hard as it is sometimes, you've got to look at the big picture. My goal was to be ready for Opening Day, but my goal also was to be ready for the season. I pushed it to try to get there Opening Day, and it didn't work out."