Jeter targeting March 10 for first spring game

Recovering from left ankle fracture, Yanks star expects to be ready by Opening Day

Jeter targeting March 10 for first spring game

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter is expected to play in his first Spring Training game around March 10, according to general manager Brian Cashman.

"He's kind of doing everything, but we're not ready to run him out there for game activity," Cashman said. "When we do, I think we'll start him at DH and then expand."

Jeter ran on the infield dirt on Saturday, his first time doing so since suffering a left ankle fracture in last season's American League Championship Series. The 38-year-old has consistently said that he expects to be ready for Opening Day in New York on April 1.

"I was a couple of weeks behind what everyone else was doing when I first got here, so on that schedule I don't see any reason why not," Jeter said. "I don't think anything's set in stone, but it seems like it's attainable."

Jeter had surgery on his ankle in October and has revealed that he had plates and screws inserted to repair the fracture. Cashman said that he believes Jeter will have enough time to be ready for the season.

"Twenty days of Derek Jeter in Spring Training is still better than whatever the alternative we're going to run out there," Cashman said. "Physically he's capable of doing everything. It's just we're being very cautious about how we take him out of the gate."

Jeter said that having fewer plate appearances than usual in Spring Training should not have a major effect on his preparation.

"I can't tell you how many at-bats I've had in any spring," Jeter said. "I think it's more of a feel thing. You know when you feel as though you're ready. I've had springs where I've left Spring Training not feeling good and I've gotten off to good starts and it's been the opposite."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.