Derek Jeter injury: Jeter returning to Yankees Thursday

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The wait is over, as Jeter will finally debut in 2013.

Derek Jeter is finally set to return to the Yankees after ankle surgery kept him out for all of 2013 to this point, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The report was later confirmed by Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman.

Jeter underwent surgery on his ankle in October, and was originally expected to be back in time for the start of the season, but complications in the form of a crack near the surgery site, and then ankle inflammation, pushed him to the 60-day disabled list and delayed his return until right now.

Rosenthal reports that Jeter will play at either shortstop or designated hitter for the Bronx Bombers as they take on the Royals. It doesn't matter so much which position Jeter plays: he might be an upgrade at each spot. Yankees' shortstops have combined for a slash line of .211/.269/.283 this season, while various hitters in the DH slot haven't fared all that better, hitting .213/.301/.373.

Jeter's return is the first in a line of healthy players they hope to get back before they slip too far back in the competitive American League East, where they currently reside in fourth place. Alex Rodriguez is currently on a rehab assignment, and could be a boost at either third base or at DH when he does return, while Curtis Granderson has barely played this season, first thanks to a broken forearm suffered on a hit by pitch, then by a broken pinkie on another hit by pitch shortly after his initial return -- he's still not swinging a bat, so his return is not imminent.

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