KANSAS CITY -- Derek Jeter left Saturday night's game in the fifth inning with irritation of the patella tendon in his right knee. Manager Joe Torre said that Jeter will have Sunday off.
"His knee has been barking at him," Torre said. "Today, it just looked like he couldn't move very well. That is about as simple as I can put it."
Torre doesn't think Jeter will miss much time. Jeter has suffered knee problems throughout the season. On Aug. 26, he missed a game against the Tigers due to a bruise suffered above his right kneecap.
"I think [he'll miss] just [Sunday]," Torre said. "He has irritation. It's the same knee, same problem. Another team doctor took a look at him when he came out of the game, and just a day off hopefully will do the job."
Jeter, who has played in 139 games this season -- tied for third most on the Yankees -- would play every day if he could. But Torre believes that Jeter needs at least two days, including Monday's off-day, to fully heal.
"It is just something that he has been dealing with, and I think he is at the point now where is having trouble dealing with it," Torre said, "even though if you put his name in the lineup, that is where he will go. But hopefully, the couple days off will help him feel better.
"It's a season where it's unlike any other sport, where you don't really have the luxury of taking time off," Torre continued. "In other sports, you don't play as often and you have a better chance to heal. Here, it is just a matter of how well you can play dealing with what you have to do deal with."
Alberto Gonzalez replaced Jeter in the fifth inning. Gonzalez, appearing in his second Major League game and his first since Tuesday, recorded all three outs in the fifth inning for starter Andy Pettitte.
Either Gonzalez or Wilson Betemit will play shortstop on Sunday afternoon in the series finale. If needed, either one could fill in at shortstop if Jeter misses more time.
"It is something evidently that is not going to go away until we shut it down," Torre said. "Again, it is really tough to think that you are going to play without him."
Jeter is batting .318 with nine homers, 62 RBIs and 89 runs scored this season.
Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.