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'It's stiff'

Jeter hopes to avoid DL, likely out through weekend

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Posted: Friday May 12, 2000 07:42 PM

  Derek Jeter Derek Jeter, who had a similar injury two years ago on a checked swing, hopes to recover more quickly this time. David Leeds/Allsport

DETROIT (AP) -- Derek Jeter blames himself. But, how was he to know his latest pain was anything worth worrying about?

The Yankees' shortstop left Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after the second inning with an abdominal strain in his left side.

At the time, everyone thought Jeter hurt himself with a leaping, twisting throw to second on a ground ball hit by Vinny Castilla.

Jeter said Friday, however, that he first felt the pain while hitting in a cage Wednesday, after the Yankees and Devil Rays had been rained out.

"I took a lot of swings the day we had a rainout," said Jeter, wearing a heat pad held by a large elastic wrap over his blue Yankees T-shirt. "I hit for about an hour, and I guess I hit too long."

Jeter had a similar injury two years ago on a checked swing, also against Tampa Bay. That one forced him to miss 12 games, marking the first time in his career he was on the disabled list.

He wasn't sure he would be out that long this time.

"When I had it before, I was out two weeks," Jeter said. "Hopefully, I can get back this time sooner than that."

Jeter indicated he would rather not go on the disabled list.

"You break a toe nail here and they put you on the DL," Jeter said. "So, we'll have to wait and see.

"I guess the smart thing to do would have been not to play yesterday. But, like I say, there's not too many days you come [to the ballpark] when there's not something wrong with you."

Jeter said he felt stiffness near his rib cage when he woke up Friday.

"Yesterday, they iced it down, and quick," Jeter said. "Today, it's stiff. I think it's one of those things where you've got to wait a couple of days. We'll just wait and see."

Yankees manager Joe Torre said the club would probably wait through the weekend and see how Jeter's injury responds to treatment before deciding about placing him on the disabled list.

Jeter, mired in a slump, is hitless in 13 at-bats over his last four games. His average has slipped to .266 with three homers and 13 RBIs.


 
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