Derek Jeter is determined to rehab and return as the same player he was prior to his ankle injury. However, he is 38 years old, he'll turn 39 during next season, and he plays one of the more demanding positions on the field. The Yankees' captain has his work cut out for him.
According to Dr. Ray Solano, a sports medicine doctor who treats athletes from around the world, Jeter's injury will require a lengthy recovery and the transition back to the player he was will be a slow one.
"Derek Jeter's left ankle fracture was more than likely the end result of a weakened ankle he had been dealing with for quite some time," Dr. Solano said. "In addition, because his recovery time was moved to 4-5 months, this leads me to believe he has an injured ligament(s) as well. Given his age and demanding position, it could be a slow transition back onto the field. Expect him to miss spring training while rehabilitating his injury."Jeter had been battling a bone bruise for weeks prior to the fractured ankle he suffered during the postseason. The prevailing notion is that the bone bruise weakened his ankle and finally, during the American League Championship Series, the ankle fractured.
When asked about the similarities between the fractured ankle Stephen Drew suffered in 2011 and Jeter's injury, Dr. Solano felt Drew would have a better future in playing after the injury.
"Stephen Drew's right ankle fracture was sudden and the result of a slide into home plate. His type of fracture was of a different nature and has a better long term prognosis."Jeter will surprise us like he always does, but it's hard to envision him playing shortstop day in and day out. He had already been spending more time as a designated hitter this past season, and it's probable that the Yankees use him as a DH even more. The injury is by far the most significant injury of Jeter's Hall of Fame career.