Derek Jeter to return to Yankees on Thursday

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees takes

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees takes the field to play against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (July 27, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

The Captain is back.

Derek Jeter will make his long-awaited return to the struggling Yankees’ lineup, and apparently not a moment too soon, when he finally takes the field for today’s 1:05 p.m. series finale against the Royals, the Yankees confirmed.

Jeter will start at designated hitter and bat second. Eduardo Nunez will play shortstop, batting seventh.

Jeter, 39, has not played in a major-league game since he suffered a severe fracture of his left ankle during Game 1 of last’s year ALCS. His comeback was further delayed after a second break was discovered in May.

Despite the extended rehab, Jeter seemed to be on the fast track as soon as he reported to Triple-A Scranton on Saturday. He played only four minor-league games – three at shortstop and one at DH – and went 1-for-9 with four walks and three strikeouts.

The Yankees, who snapped a three-game streak of scoring only one run with Wednesday's 8-1 rout of the Royals, have used five different starters at shortstop in Jeter's absence this season.

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