Derek Jeter will have surgery on his fractured left ankle Saturday, putting his availability for Opening Day in question.
The shortstop is expected to make a complete recovery in four to five months, which is longer than the original timetable of three months the Yankees provided after he suffered the injury in Game 1 of the ALCS in The Bronx.
The surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, complicates his return. While five months would have him ready toward the end of spring training, any setbacks or complications could push it back to the regular season.
General manager Brian Cashman said he has no plans to look for a backup plan at shortstop.
"I haven't looked at that at this stage," Cashman said. "We do have Eduardo Nunez, we have Jayson Nix, so it's not something we focused on. And I wouldn't think that's something we'll gravitate to."
He also said he was not concerned about the potential recovery time being lengthened.
"I believe Dr. Anderson just put a more conservative time frame on it," Cashman said before Game 4 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Tigers at Comerica Park was postponed until today. "My understanding is that it's possible he will be ready earlier than that timetable, but it is best to at least put out there four, five months as a safer bet."
Still, as Andy Pettitte learned, setbacks from ankle surgery are possible, especially if there is ligament damage.
"It's a little more difficult to repair ligaments as well as the fracture," said Dr. David Geier, Director of Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. "And there's a lot of work afterwards to recover range of motion and balance, especially as you get older. If that's the case, he'd still be able to come back and play, but the concern would be if he is going to be the same player."
Saturday surgery puts Opening Day in question
New York Post | Oct 18