NEW YORK -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has been taking batting practice and fielding ground balls at the club's training complex in Tampa, Fla., but he has still not received clearance to play in Minor League games.
Jeter's progress has been slow since he felt soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle on March 23, the last time he has played in a game. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Tuesday that Jeter is not likely to rejoin the club by May 1.
"That was a date that was thrown out there," Girardi said. "The easiest way for me to say it is, he'll be back when he's back, when he can physically do it on an everyday basis.
"I don't think any of us are going to know the exact date until we go through some trial and error. He's not ready to play in games. I don't think they necessarily have an exact date of when he's going to play in games, and we'll just go day by day and see how he feels."
Girardi said that Jeter worked out on Saturday and Sunday at the complex, and The Associated Press reported that the Yankees' captain ran on the field on Monday and Tuesday. But after Jeter pushed himself during Spring Training in order to try to be on the field for Opening Day, the Yankees have encouraged him to back off his routine for fear of aggravating the injury.
"Sometimes I think you can take too many ground balls, and they talked about lessening that load a little bit just because he was taking so many," Girardi said. "Derek is such a creature of habit. To get him to break a cycle sometimes is difficult. He's going to want to do as much as he can as soon as he can, so we're just trying to make sure that we don't go too fast. But there was no setback."