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New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he expects to be ready for Major League Baseball's Opening Day after recovering from the broken left ankle that ended his 2012 campaign.
Jeter needed surgery to repair the fracture suffered in the 12th inning of a 6-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in the opening game of the American League Championship Series last October.
"Opening Day has been the goal all along," Jeter said Sunday at the team's Florida training base. The Yankees are slated to take on the Boston Red Sox in their season opener on April 1.
Jeter, 38, said the ankle has healed but he hasn't yet tested it fully with running on the field and he doesn't expect to play when spring training games begin next weekend.
"I'm going to have to push myself. It's a challenge," the Yankees captain said. "I've got to get myself in baseball shape."
The 13-time All-Star played in 159 games last year, his most since 2005.
He batted .316 with 15 homers and 58 runs batted in. He led the American League with 216 hits and finished seventh in the American League Most Valuable Player voting.
Jeter had surgery a week after he was hurt fielding a ground ball in the ALCS opener, which Detroit went on to sweep in four games.
He acknowledged that the arduous rehabilitation made for a "terrible" offseason.
"I don't want to make it sound more dramatic than it is, but you have to learn to walk again," he said.