Derek Jeter could play Saturday, says he doesn't have to run full speed first

Derek Jeter and Kevin Youkilis stretch during warmups Derek Jeter and Kevin Youkilis stretch during warmups before playing the Toronto Blue Jays in a spring training game at Steinbrenner Field. (Feb. 24, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- Derek Jeter apparently doesn't have to run the bases at full speed before appearing in a game.

Though he had indicated that was the case, he backed away from that Friday, a day after visiting the surgeon who operated on his left ankle in October.

"Could be tomorrow, it could be the next day," he said of running the bases. "But I don't think I have to run them full speed before I play. If you go back to spring trainings in the past, I don't think anyone is running the bases at full speed before the first game. As long as I can get around, then that's fine.''

And fine with Joe Girardi, who, after the Yankees' 6-1 loss to the Marlins Friday, indicated that Jeter's spring training debut could come Saturday afternoonat home against the Braves.

"I'll check with him ," Girardi said.

There was some thought that Jeter might put off his debut until Monday because of Mariano Rivera's expected retirement announcement Saturday morning, but Girardi said that won't be a factor.

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"I don't know if Mo would expect him to do that," Girardi said. "We still have a season to get ready for."

Jeter, who spoke to reporters after facing Andy Pettitte in a simulated game Friday morning at Steinbrenner Field, has been running the bases in some capacity for about three weeks.

He went to Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday for a scheduled visit with Dr. Robert Anderson, the surgeon who performed the surgery on his ankle Oct. 20. Jeter said a month ago he had the "green light" to resume full baseball activities, a process that has been deliberate.

"He said everything's healed, 100 percent healed," Jeter said. "So now we move forward. Nothing has changed from what I told you guys before. Just now the bone is healed. They say it's healed. So that's not a worry.

"It was a scheduled visit. It was scheduled before I started playing games. To get the final OK. There's been a process of a few doctors and tests to see how it was coming along. Last time I went there, it wasn't completely healed, but now it is. I figured it would be. I thought it would be. So that's was what I was expecting . . . He gave me clearance, but I don't know if I needed it.''

Notes & quotes: Girardi said David Robertson (shoulder stiffness), who played catch for a second straight day Friday, is "OK" and cleared to pitch again . . . Among those in attendance at Friday's game at Roger Dean Stadium: former Giants and Jets coach Bill Parcells, who has a home in Jupiter.

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