When Derek Jeter showed up in spring training, he described his offseason as “absolutely terrible.” When he was shut down in late September, he described his year as a “nightmare.” For the Yankees captain, the past 12 months were full of moments when he seemed on the verge of being 100 percent, and those moments were inevitably followed by setback after setback. Here’s a look back at Jeter’s year. It’s telling that we knew a lot of details about Jeter’s early rehab attempts — when there was still hope and expectation that he’d be back — but the details got a little thin later in the year, when optimism began to dwindle.
January 28: Went through drills on a baseball field for the first time since surgery.
February 11: Ran on a treadmill for the first time since surgery.
February 17: Held his annual spring training press conference. “I’m not concerned with re-injuring the ankle,” he said.
February 18: First full-squad spring workout; Jeter did his conditioning inside for a lower-impact environment.
February 23: Ran on the field for the first time since surgery.
March 7: Cleared for full activity by Dr. Robert Anderson.
March 9: Played his first spring training game; singled in his first at-bat.
March 16: Played his final spring training game. He was pulled after only four innings, but the Yankees said that was according to plan.
March 19: Scratched from the lineup. Diagnosed with “mild inflammation” in his left ankle after an X-ray and MRI.
March 24: Brian Cashman acknowledged Jeter would likely open the season on the disabled list.
April 18: Diagnosed with a new fracture in his ankle.
April 25: Speaking publicly for the first time since the new diagnosis, Jeter said: “To the fans, I’ll be back soon.”
May 10: Yankees traded for Alberto Gonzalez to add some shortstop depth.
May 18: Yankees acquired Reid Brignac to add some more shortstop depth.
June 10: Jeter resumed baseball activities in Tampa.
June 22: Participated in light batting practice with the big league team at Yankee Stadium. “The process has been too long,” he said.
June 28: Simulated at-bats at the minor league complex.
July 3: Signed Luis Cruz to add still more shortstop depth.
July 6: Began a Triple-A rehab assignment. Played four games in five days.
July 12: Diagnosed with a Grade 1 quad strain; scheduled to take one week off in hopes of avoiding another DL stint.
July 19: Placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 12.
July 27: Played in a simulated game against minor leaguers in Staten Island. The time and location of the game were kept secret.
July 28: Homered in first at-bat back from the disabled list.
July 29: Although not announced at the time, Jeter woke up with calf soreness on an off day after traveling to the West Coast.
July 30: Played the first of back-to-back games against the Dodgers.
July 31: Jeter lifted for a pinch runner in the ninth inning; Girardi said not to make much of it.
August 2: After an off day on the schedule, Jeter played in San Diego, but Girardi hinted of lingering health concerns.
August 3: Out of the lineup against the Padres because of calf soreness, the first full acknowledgement of the specific issue.
August 4: Diagnosed with a Grade 1 calf strain.
August 22: Began a Triple-A rehab assignment. Played three days in a row.
August 26: Returned to the big leagues, playing shortstop in Toronto.
September 3: Second straight two-hit game. Had played eight days in a row.
September 7: Played final game of the season; pulled for a pinch runner after Girardi noticed Jeter running awkwardly.
September 8: Kept out of the lineup despite a negative CT Scan on his sore left ankle.
September 10: Girardi said Jeter was in a “holding pattern” and might be no better than day-to-day the rest of the year.
September 11: Cashman announced that Jeter was heading to the disabled list and wouldn’t play again.
September 29: After the final game of the year: “There were memorable festivities,” Jeter siad. “Andy and Mo, it goes without saying how special that was, but on the field wasn’t memorable.”
November 1: Rather than taking a player option, Jeter signed new one-year deal worth $12 million for 2014.
November 14: At the Joe Torre Foundation’s annual gala, Jeter said: “I understand the concerns because of everything that went down last year, so I understand that, but I’ll be ready to go.”
Associated Press photos