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Derek Jeter's return not likely to happen anytime soon

Derek Jeter bats in a spring training game

Derek Jeter bats in a spring training game against the Atlanta Braves. (March 9, 2013) Credit: AP

Derek Jeter appeared at the Yankees' minor-league complex a third straight day Wednesday.

And for a third straight day the 38-year-old shortstop did nothing more than play long toss and engage in some strengthening exercises for his left ankle.

It's been a slow grind since Jeter suffered a setback March 19 and there's increasing pessimism within the organization regarding a return date for the veteran.

Jeter is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday but general manager Brian Cashman already has said there's no chance of that happening. And a return soon after that is a long shot as well.

As one club insider pointed out: "He's not even where he was at Jan. 28."

That was the day Jeter hit the field for on-field activities, taking 55 grounders, for the first time since undergoing surgery on his broken left ankle Oct. 20.

Jeter didn't make his spring training debut until March 9 and played in only five games before suffering his setback 10 days later when he was scratched with "stiffness" in his left ankle.

Joe Girardi admitted some concern before last night's game against the Red Sox.

"Our expectation is that he is going to be an everyday player again," Girardi said. "When is what we're concerned about and how long it takes for him to get through what he needs to get through to be that everyday player."

Tex on the field

Mark Teixeira, who was given clearance Monday to remove the cast from his right wrist except when he's working out, took grounders at first base during batting practice.

Another A-Rod sighting

Alex Rodriguez, who chose not to be introduced Opening Day, appeared on the field during BP, chatting with players and coaches from both teams.

He did not stop for a small group of reporters wanting to ask him about Robinson Cano's decision to leave Scott Boras, which A-Rod did in 2010.

Under the knife

Righthanded pitcher Ty Hensley, the Yankees' first-round pick in the 2012 draft, will miss three months, senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman estimated, after undergoing surgery Wednesday afternoon on his right hip.

"He pulled an abdominal muscle and this turned out ," Newman said by phone.

The 6-5, 220-pound Hensley appeared in five games (four starts) last season in the Gulf Coast League, going 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA.

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