Derek Jeter has been cleared for baseball activities and running after passing an examination in North Carolina, the New York Yankees announced on Thursday, per both Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News and Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. Unsurprisingly, Yankees fans are enthused. Jeter has missed the entire 2013 MLB season to rehab his re-fractured ankle. There is still no word yet on when the shortstop will actually return, but the good news on his progress has warmed hearts in New York.
From the SB Nation blog Pinstripe Bible:
Yankees fans have been missing their team captain since he re-fracturing (is that a word) his ankle at the beginning of Spring Training. His bat could sure provide the 1.21 Gigawatts needed to start up the broken flux capacitor that is the Yankees offense right now. There is still no word on his return, but it is encouraging to hear that the injury is getting better.
Come back to us, Jeter.
The Yankees have cobbled together a respectable 37-28 record with a makeshift lineup that has featured Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez and Reid Brignac in place of Jeter. The team's offense has been an issue throughout the season, however. The Yankees rank an uncharacteristic 19th in runs scored this season, and are 22nd in batting average.
Jeter's return wouldn't be a cure-all for the Yankees' present issues, but there's no denying that he means a lot to the team and fans as a leader. Fortunately, he is taking positive steps towards returning to the lineup sooner than later.