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Aging Jeter out with tight quad

Published On: Apr 14 2014 09:39:40 AM CDT
Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Ray Stubblebine/Reuters

NEW YORK -

Shortstop Derek Jeter doesn't need any more reminders of his increasing age and fragility. He got another one on Sunday anyway.

Jeter missed the Yankees' 3-2 win over the Red Sox due to what manager Joe Girardi termed a tight right quad. It was the second straight game Jeter missed, though Saturday's day off was of the scheduled variety.

With the Yankees off on Monday, Jeter will get at least one more day to rest. Girardi said the quad ailment isn't serious and that Jeter should be back in the lineup when the Yankees resume play against the Cubs on Tuesday in the Bronx.

Still, any absence by Jeter serves as a reality check, for both he and the Yankees. Jeter's aura of invincibility, shattered forever when he suffered a broken left ankle during the 2012 playoffs, disappeared last year, when he missed 135 games recovering from the ankle injury as well as right quad and right calf strains.

Jeter announced in February he would retire at the end of this season and expressed hope he'd play a full campaign. And while he did play in seven straight games prior to Saturday's day off, Girardi acknowledged Sunday he may not be able to play Jeter for a week at a time anymore.

"I'm not saying that I won't do that again," Girardi said. "But I think at times I have to be aware of what's going on."

Girardi is fully aware of the delicate balance he must strike this season with his former teammate, who was the picture of stoic durability prior to his ankle injury. Girardi laughed Sunday when recalling how Jeter -- who played in at least 148 games in 15 of his first 17 full big league seasons -- would try to talk his way into the lineup under former manager Joe Torre by telling Torre he couldn't break Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive games record from the bench.

"He always feels great," Girardi said with a chuckle.

Now Girardi must know when he doesn't, and act accordingly.

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