Veteran New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who has struggled to recover from an ankle injury and played sparingly in 2013, will miss the rest of the season after being placed once again on the disabled list.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman confirmed that the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer would be lost for the rest of this year's playoff push - and the playoffs, if the team can make it - but said he was confident he would be back.
"No. I do not believe that," Cashman said when asked if Jeter's career might have come to an end.
"I really do not believe that. And as hard as this conversation or this discussion topic that we're having today is about this season being over, I have not watched his last game. No one has," he added.
Jeter, an integral part of five Yankees championships, played in just 17 games this season due to various injuries and hit a paltry .190.
But the biggest concern for the Bronx Bombers has been his inability to make a full recovery from a left ankle fracture suffered during last year's playoffs.
The shortstop was removed from a game last Saturday due to recurrent pain in that ankle, and the Yankees announced Wednesday that his season was over even though X-rays turned up negative.
"This entire season has been a nightmare for me physically," the Yankees captain said before learning that he was being sent back to the disabled list. "It's a fitting end."
He vowed, however, to come back stronger in 2014.
"I truly believe with a full offseason, working out and getting my strength back that I can get back to doing what I always have," Jeter said.
"I don't think you think about the end of anything. Our job is to get ready to play. I tried to come back this year as quickly as possible. Maybe that was not the best thing to do. My job now is to get ready for next year. And I have to do that."
The news comes at the worst time for the Yankees, who trail the Tampa Bay Rays by one game for the final American League wild-card spot with less than three weeks remaining in the regular season. EFE