BALTIMORE (AP) - Derek Jeter began the season on the disabled list, and that’s how it will end.
The New York Yankees shortstop will miss the rest of the year after being placed on the DL on Wednesday with an injured left ankle.
Jeter missed the first part of the season after breaking his left ankle in the 2012 playoffs. He returned to the DL twice more and played only 17 games, batting .190 with one homer and seven RBIs.
And now, he’s been shelved for a fourth time.
“This entire season has been a nightmare for me physically,” Jeter said. “It’s a fitting end.”
The captain fully intends to return next year, even though he turns 40 on June 26.
“I truly believe with a full offseason, working out and getting my strength back that I can get back to doing what I always have,” Jeter said. “I don’t think you think about the end of anything. Our job is to get ready to play. I tried to come back this year as quickly as possible. Maybe that was not the best thing to do. My job now is to get ready for next year. And I have to do that.”
Jeter last played Saturday against Boston. He was removed for a pinch runner after hurting his left ankle, and although a CT scan was negative, general manager Brian Cashman said the injury will need significant time to heal.
“You have to let the pain dissipate and then give it a chance to let the ankle strengthen back up,” Cashman said. “We’re just not going to have the time to do that in any capacity right now. It puts him in a vulnerable situation and risks re-injury or further injury. And that’s not something we are willing to do.”
His departure comes with New York in the thick of the AL wild-card hunt.
“It’s very disappointing not to be able to play, especially at this time of year,” Jeter said. “This is when I want to play the most.”
The Yankees will miss him, but they’re counting on having Jeter in 2014.
“I have seen him do this over and over and overcome a lot of things people thought he would not overcome,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That just who he is. When you talk about what’s inside Derek, he’s special. That’s what made him great for so long.”
The current ankle injury is seemingly related to the one that occurred last October in the AL championship series against Detroit.
“There is no new medical information other than the fact there were conversations that he has pain most likely stemming from weakness surrounding the bone, the muscles, tendons and ligaments, and it was not going to solve itself anytime soon,” Cashman said. “And he would be vulnerable. Something’s going to give the more we run him out there. So we feel it’s best to shut him down. Let him prepare for next year. That’s the safest thing to do.”