Derek Jeter is progressing as expected from a fractured left ankle, though the Yankees captain isn't a lock to be ready by opening day.

"I mean, I think there's a little bit of a question. But I think he'll find a way. That's who he is," said manager Joe Girardi at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

Jeter has yet to do any weight- bearing on the ankle he fractured during Game 1 of the AL Champi onship Series, a four-game sweep by Detroit.

"Because of the rehab, you have to get to full strength. Maybe you're not able to start doing the things you normally would in Jan uary," Girardi said. "But I think he'll find a way."

Girardi, David Cone and sever al of the Yankees' executive staff assisted in assembling care pack ages for the USO to ship to ser vicemen and women stationedabroad.

And with Toronto on the verge of officially acquiring All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and starters Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson in a blockbuster trade with Miami — pending a review by commission er Bud Selig — Cone sees the Blue Jays as the team to beat in the AL East.

"They were everybody's sleeper pick last year. I would think they'd have to be the fa vorite," Cone said. "I think they see a great opportunity — that the AL East is ripe for the picking. And you've got to admire them."