Derek Jeter's return from a broken ankle became complete Wednesday when the New York Yankees captain started his first game at shortstop since suffering the injury during last fall's American League Championship Series.
After serving as the Yankees' designated hitter in two spring games, Jeter started at shortstop against the Philadelphia Phillies, going 0-for-2 with a walk while fielding the only ground ball hit his way over four innings.
"It seems right when he's out there, in the lineup and a player for us," manager Joe Girardi said.
Jeter has maintained all along that he would be ready to start at shortstop by the Yankees' season-opener April 1, but the Wednesday game made it seem like a reality. Jeter admitted to being nervous in the early innings, though he said that happens every spring when he plays in his first game.
"Just getting back into game action, seeing things, it's been a while," Jeter said. "It's like a normal spring training, being out there, readjusting to everything that's going on. You get nervous a little bit until you get your first ground ball, your first at-bat, but once again, that's pretty normal, too. It really just felt as though it was like a first spring training game."
Jeter said he's experienced "normal soreness" as he works his way back this spring, but he was told by the team's trainers and doctors to expect that as the month progressed.
"You have to play through it, because I haven't been doing things for quite some time," Jeter said. "So, yeah, there's soreness there, but as I told you the other day, as long as the bone is healed, the soreness you can work through."