The Yankees have announced that doctors have cleared Derek Jeter to begin his rehab assignment. His first game back since re-injuring his ankle in spring training will be tomorrow, July 6, with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at 7:05 pm. He is scheduled to play at least five innings in the game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at PNC Field. Michael Pineda, another rehabbing Yankee, is scheduled to start the game for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Jeter has been out of commission since he broke his ankle in the 2012 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers and then re-broke it when he attempted to return over the spring. At the time of the initial injury and surgery, Jeter was supposed to be ready for Opening Day 2013, which obviously wasn't possible after the re-injury. The Yankees have gone through five shortstops in Jeter's absence, so the Captain's return really cannot come soon enough. Both he and Alex Rodriguez should be able to rejoin the team before the end of July.
There's no way to know exactly how much having an ankle mainly composed of metal will impact a late-30s shortstop, but it doesn't seem like anything positive could come from it. Still, Jeter was one of the best hitters in the lineup a year ago, and the team desperately needs that right now.