"Any time you get hit by a pitch, it's going to hurt a while," Jeter said. "If you get hit on the left elbow, it can hurt for a month, but you can play with that.
"But you've got to use your right thumb pretty much for everything, except running the bases. I don't mind the soreness ... but I'm just not capable. So I can't play."
Jeter, grilled thoroughly by reporters prior to the team taking the field for batting practice, seemed amused by the comprehensive line of questioning.
"Really," he finally said with a wide smile, "it's not a big deal. It's a matter of when I'll be able to play.
"Throwing is maybe worse. I can swing ... I don't know if I can hit
Someone behind him asked if he could describe "what kind of pain you're feeling."
Jeter turned slyly and asked, with a twinkle in his eyes, "Got a ball? I'll have someone throw it at you, so you'll know."
To help deal with any emergencies caused by Jeter's unavailability, the Yankees purchased the contract of Nick Green from Triple-A Columbus, clearing a roster spot by designating outfielder Terrence Long for assignment.
A 27-year-old veteran of 2 1/2 seasons, Green was acquired from Tampa Bay for cash two weeks ago. He has played every infield position except first base, and also has limited outfield experience.
Green, who is wearing No. 17, played shortstop exclusively in 11 games at Columbus.
Unless he is claimed on waivers during the next 10 days, Long will return to Columbus and await the next call from the Yankees.
"When I get back, I'll be a lot more comfortable," said the veteran outfielder, who went 6-for-36 since his May 21 promotion from the Clippers. "I felt myself pressing. I know what I'm capable of, and just have to go get some at-bats and get back on track.
"This was a good opportunity. This is a good situation. Everyone here is on the same page."
The Yankees designated an outfielder because Bubba Crosby, disabled since May 19 with a strained right hamstring, appears close to a return.
"He's feeling great, running without a problem," Torre said of Crosby, who is at extended Spring Training in Tampa. "Two more days, if he gets enough at-bats, and he could join us for the weekend."
Tom Lasorda always proclaimed to bleed Dodger blue, but he probably never imagined cutting a Mattingly and drawing blue blood.
That became a possibility on Tuesday, when the Dodgers used a supplemental pick to make Preston Mattingly, son of Yankees first-base great Don Mattingly, the No. 31 selection in the First-Year Player Draft.
The Dodgers drew some double-takes for choosing so high someone not rated among the pre-draft 200 top prospects, but they weren't alone in that thinking. The Yankees, picking 10 slots later, also coveted Don's kid.
"The Yankees were hoping he'd still be there [on the board]," said proud papa Mattingly, the team's hitting coach. "They weren't too far behind."
But Don Mattingly felt that the opportunity to start his career with a different organization, to "do his own thing," would benefit his son.
"The last month's been crazy," Don Mattingly said, referring to behind-the-scenes discussions as Preston's rank escalated. "He's happy, excited. He just asked for an opportunity, and he has that now."
Jaret Wright, who held the Red Sox scoreless for five innings in his last start against them, on May 23, draws Curt Schilling on Wednesday night in the third game of the series. Wright will be making the 203rd appearance of his career, and Schilling will be seeking his 201st victory.