When Jeter suffered the fracture last Saturday lunging for a 12th-inning ground ball in New York's loss to the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees announced an initial time frame of three months for Jeter's recovery.
"I believe that Dr. Anderson just put in a more conservative timeframe on it, as explained to me," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "So there's no new information, nothing seen worse than what our team doctor saw. But in terms of the timeframe, I just think [Anderson] wanted to be more conservative with it, so that's what we're going to go with.
"My understanding is that it's possible he will be ready earlier than that timeframe, but it is best to at least put out there four, five months as a safer bet."
Four months from the date of the surgery would be Feb. 20, when the Yankees will already be beginning workouts in Tampa, Fla., though the club expects Jeter to be ready for Spring Training.
If Jeter needs five months to recover, that would put him in the middle of the Grapefruit League exhibition schedule, so any setbacks will put his Opening Day availability in doubt.
"When the [doctor] says four to five months, they're giving you the longest period," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They're not going to give you the shortest period. Some guys are going to heal quicker than others. We really just don't know."
Jeter has been fitted for a splint and is using crutches. He did not travel with the Yankees to Detroit for the ALCS, instead going to North Carolina for an MRI and CT scan that confirmed the initial diagnosis of a fractured ankle.
The active career leader with 3,304 hits, the 38-year-old Jeter batted .316 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 159 games this season, leading the Major Leagues with 216 hits.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.