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Jeter hits with authority during first BP session

Yankees captain says 'everything is good so far' after missing most of last season

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NEW YORK -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter dug in for his first on-field batting-practice session of the year on Monday, according to The Associated Press.

Jeter hit with authority to all fields during a five-round, 39-swing session at the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla. He also took 34 ground balls on the dirt at shortstop, according to the report.

"Everything is good so far, knock on wood," Jeter told the AP.

Jeter, who turns 40 in June, has been working out at the Yanks' complex for the past two weeks. He had previously hit in an indoor batting cage and fielded ground balls on the infield grass.

The Yankees are counting on Jeter to return to form as their everyday shortstop in 2014, one year after he was limited to just 17 games by complications from a left ankle fracture suffered during Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series.

"My job is to be ready to play," Jeter said. "I remember when I was 35, everyone said that was it. 'He can't play anymore.' End of my career. So, it's really nothing different. Eventually, somebody is going to be right, you know what I mean? You're going to run out of numbers."

Calling last season a "nightmare," Jeter served four stints on the disabled list, including a second fracture of the left ankle, as well as right calf and right quadriceps injuries. He batted .190 with one home run and seven RBIs before the Yanks cut his season short in September.

"This offseason is like a normal offseason," said Jeter, who was in a walking boot until early January last year. "I'm four months ahead of where I was last year. Last year, quite honestly, I want to forget about it."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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