Derek Jeter faced the media for the first time since doctors found another break in his left ankle last month. While it was nice to see the Captain wearing Yankee blue again, Jeter really didn't have any earth-shattering news to announce except he plans to return in 2013. When asked when we can expect to see him back in pinstripes, Jeter was vague but straightforward.
"I have no doubt I'll be back," Jeter said. "But I'm not giving a timetable because I don't want to disappoint myself or anyone else."
The fidgety Jeter looked fit and was in good spirits during the 30 minute Tampa presser and joked with some of the regular beat reporters. He said he still needs a protective walking boot but didn't wear it to the conference.
"It's been a difficult process ... it's been a frustrating process," he said. "Just when you're close to coming back, you have a set back. I guess it's part of the healing process ... Unfortunately, it's taking more time than I anticipated."
As for returning by the All-Star break, the popular Yankee joked, "I'm not gonna say but when I come back I'll be well rested."
Jeter said the new break is in the same bone but in a different spot. "I'm not sure when I did it but when I wasn't able to run I had it checked out."
He said there was never any doubt about "coming back and playing the same" but is leaving his return date up to the doctors.
"The doctors say when it heals, I'll be fine," he added. "The biggest hurdles are the doctors and CT scans ... you can't fake a CT scan."
Jeter, not surprisingly, said he missed playing and the 38-year-old player "didn't need" his teammate Mariano Rivera's comeback from a serious knee injury at an "advanced age" as motivation to come back. "Mo is Mo," he said.
Jeter also admitted he hasn't followed the team as much as he would like because there is no MLB package at his St. Petersburg mansion.
In the end, he was asked if there was anything he wanted to tell Yankees fans. Jeter got serious and simply said, "I'll be back soon."