Nine months since breaking his left ankle, Derek Jeter reportedly is ready to return to the New York Yankees' lineup.
The star shortstop will be activated from the disabled list and will start in the Yankees' series finale at Kansas City on Thursday afternoon, Fox Sports reported late Wednesday.
The report said it was uncertain whether Jeter would play shortstop or designated hitter.
Jeter broke the ankle last fall in the opening game of the American League Championship series, and he subsequently had surgery. He targeted a return in time for Opening Day, but after participating in spring training through mid-March, he suffered a setback and was shut down.
Eventually, a new, small crack in the ankle was discovered, and the Yankees announced Jeter would miss at least half of the season. If he returns Thursday, Jeter would have missed 91 games, during which the Yankees went 49-42.
Jeter began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, and he played four games for the RailRiders, going 1-for-9 with four walks and two strikeouts. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Wednesday night in a game against Rochester.
Jeter's return would be a huge boost to a Yankees lineup that is without injured third baseman Alex Rodriguez, first baseman Mark Teixeira, outfielder Curtis Granderson and first baseman/third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Rodriguez, who had offseason hip surgery, is also on a minor league rehab assignment and could be close to rejoining the major league club.