Jeter was listed in the original clubhouse lineup for the Bombers' opener of a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Jeter needed at least one more day to rest.
"It was just sore and it hasn't gotten any better," Jeter said. "It was their thinking that we had yesterday off, and another day or two can't hurt."
Girardi said that he first learned of Jeter's injury on Saturday, when the team was playing at Baltimore, but Jeter said that he actually first felt it during New York's homestand.
Jeter played in Sunday's series finale, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, and he is 3-for-12 on the current road trip.
"I've pulled that muscle before and been on the disabled list for two or three weeks," Jeter said. "I'm trying to avoid that."
Girardi said that the DL is not a possibility at this time, but the Yankees will guard against Jeter's oblique becoming worse, since those injuries do not typically heal quickly. The manager said Jeter tried to convince him to keep him in the lineup.
"He always does," Girardi said. "I just said, 'We have to be smart, because I don't want to lose you for an extended period of time.'"
Jeter was replaced at shortstop by rookie Ramiro Pena, and Brett Gardner jumped to the leadoff spot, having had some success (3-for-7 with a double coming into the game) against Toronto starter Roy Halladay. Pena went 1-for-3 in New York's 5-1 loss, while Gardner went 0-for-4.
"I don't like to sit out any games," Jeter said. "It's always annoying when you can't play."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.