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In 2004, he famously dived into the stands to make a catch against the Boston Red Sox and walked off the field bloody and bruised. Yet, he took his position at Shea Stadium the next day.

When he dislocated his shoulder in 2003, he returned almost exactly to the day predicted and played through pain much of the season _ the only one of his 17 previous full seasons that he played less than 130 games.

At 38, he had no such luck. Jeter played for much of last September with a bad bone bruise. It finally gave out against the Detroit Tigers when he lunged for a groundball Oct. 13. A week later he had surgery, and a Christmas party at Yankee Stadium for his Turn 2 Foundation, he vowed to be on the field for the April 1 opener.

But Jeter was slowed by stiffness and soreness during spring training and only played five big league games, three at shortstop. When the pain persisted into April, he went for a new CT scan in Charlotte, N.C., and that test revealed the break.

“When I got it, it wasn’t good news,” Jeter said. “I thought I would go up there, when I went to see the doc, I thought he would say it was something different. Tape it up. Let’s go. But it wasn’t the case. It didn’t feel too good for quite some time. I’m laughing and smiling and happy that I’m up here. But I’m still upset that I can’t play.”

For now he will be limited to playing cheerleader and working out until he is given the OK to start his on-field rehabilitation again. Jeter walked without a limp into and out of the news conference, and he wasn’t wearing the protective boot he says he has to wear, even though he doesn’t think it’s necessary.

He’ll spend at least the 10-game homestand in New York.

“It’s tough to not be around the team,” Jeter said.